A while back, we shared how some critics were predicting “The Lion King” to be Disney’s highest-grossing film of 2019. While “Avengers: Endgame” still holds that record, Simba and friends are still in second place. Disney’s latest flick is now the second most successful film premiere of the year, earning $23 million on opening night and on track to making $185 during its opening weekend.
We wouldn’t be surprised if “The Lion King” turns out to be a huge win for Disney at the box office. If it is as successful as it’s predicted to be, Variety reports that it will beat out “Incredibles 2” to become the ninth-highest grossing North American premiere of all time. The movie broke records for first-day advance ticket sales and is now on track to outperform presale forecasts, which predicted that it would fall somewhere in the $150-180 million range during its first weekend in theaters. Even though it still only has a 55% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, that isn’t stopping fans from watching it (some even think it’s Disney’s best remake yet).
The movie is not only a success for Disney but a success for the movie business itself. Variety reports that the film arrives at multiplexes with this year’s domestic box office having plunged 9.1% to $6.26 billion as of July 19. According to Comscore, the summer has also declined by 5.9% to $2.78 billion. So if there was ever a time for another hit movie, it’s now.
Despite harsh reviews from critics and some unhappy fans, it doesn’t look like “The Lion King” is going to stop climbing the box office success ladder. The film has a star-studded cast with Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, James Earl Jones, and more A-list celebrities all in starring roles. The music is exceptional, the visuals are stunning, and with a story with such a well-established fan base, many are heading to the theater because they feel obligated to see Disney’s latest film.
We’re not sure what film will beat out “The Lion King” or even “Avengers: Endgame” this year (we’re still holding out hope for “Frozen 2”). But for now, we’ll be singing “Hakuna Matata” and strolling to our local theater sooner rather than later.