×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Lion King’ Tracking Mighty $150 Million-Plus Opening Weekend

Disney’s big return to the Pride Lands looks to be a lucrative one. Jon Favreau’s high-profile remake of “The Lion King” is eyeing a massive $150 million opening when it hits theaters on July 19, according to early tracking.

That number could fluctuate in weeks to come as Disney ramps up its marketing push. Box office tracking is always something of an inexact science, but predictions have been particularly off this summer with a number of high-profile movies coming in outside of estimates.

Disney does have reason for optimism. For one, advanced ticket sales have been sky-high. Fandango reports that “The Lion King” is selling record numbers of presale tickets, outpacing fellow Disney remakes “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “The Jungle Book” at the same point in their sales cycles. It’s tracking only behind “Avengers: Endgame” in terms of advanced tickets for 2019 movies.

Favreau enlisted an A-list cast for “The Lion King,” including Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa. James Earl Jones is reprising his voice role as Mufasa from the original animated movie, which debuted just over 25 years ago.

“The Lion King” is the third of Disney’s three live-action remakes that arrived on the big screen this year. Tim Burton’s “Dumbo” ended its box office run with a lackluster (by Disney standards) $351 million globally. “Aladdin,” directed by Guy Ritchie, has fared better, earning $815 million worldwide to date.

Favreau previously directed Disney’s 2016 re-imagining of “The Jungle Book,” which launched with $103 million and went on to collect a huge $966 million worldwide. The studio also had massive success with its adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” with Emma Watson. That film bowed with $174 million in 2017 and grossed $1.2 billion during its entire theatrical run. Those two titles, along with “Alice in Wonderland,” are the only Disney live-action titles outside of the “Pirates” franchise that have debuted with over $100 million in ticket sales.

Given the size and scope of the blockbuster-hopeful, “The Lion King” is the lone wide release that weekend. No other studios dared to take on Mufasa and Simba.

TRENDING ON VARIETY:

More Film

  • La vaca

    Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Boards Debut by Chile’s Francisca Alegria (EXCLUSIVE)

    In what marks the company’s first Latin American project, Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Pictures has boarded Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegria’s debut feature, “The Cow Who Sang a Song About the Future.” The multi-Emmy-winning actor and his El Dorado partner Casey Bader will serve as executive producers of the film, slated to start principal photography in [...]

  • Hustlers Box Office

    Box Office: Why 'Hustlers' Soared While 'The Goldfinch' Flopped

    Though STX’s “Hustlers” and Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch” couldn’t be more different in terms of genre or style, the two new releases prove the divergent paths that mid-budget movies can take at the box office. Both films arrived last weekend in an environment that has been increasingly hostile to anything that’s not of the superhero [...]

  • The Irishman

    Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' Set for Centerpiece Screening at Rome Festival

    Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” will be among highlights of the upcoming Rome Film Festival, following its European launch as the closing film at the BFI London Film Festival. As with the Oct. 13 London premiere, key cast members of the hotly anticipated Netflix film are expected to attend the screening in Rome, as is Scorsese. [...]

  • 'Cheer Up, Mr. Lee' to be

    Korean Comedy 'Cheer Up, Mr. Lee' to be Remade in French

    Currently on-release South Korean comedy drama, “Cheer Up, Mr. Lee” is to be remade in French. “Mr. Lee” is the story of a mentally-challenged man who learns that he has a sick daughter, and embarks on a voyage of discovery with his new family member. A remake deal was struck between Yong Film, part of [...]

  • The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos

    Korea: 'The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos’ Rules Chuseok Holiday Box Office

    Local films dominated cinemagoing in South Korea over the 4-day Chuseok holiday weekend, traditionally one of the year’s busiest periods. The winner was “The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos.” Opening on Wednesday, the CJ Entertainment release earned $20.2 million from 1.97 million admissions over five days. A film adaptation of CJ E&M’s 2014 hit TV [...]

  • Disco

    New Europe Sells Toronto and San Sebastian Film 'Disco' to Several Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jan Naszewski’s New Europe Film Sales has signed several distribution deals on “Disco,” which had its world premiere in Toronto Film Festival’s Discovery section and makes its European premiere in San Sebastian’s New Directors competition. The film has been picked up by Palace for Australia and New Zealand, Artcam for Czech Republic and Slovakia, Kino [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content