The Lion King received mediocre reviews from critics — most of whom praised the film’s visuals but criticised its lack of original content and blandness. But this did not deter the masses from going out in numbers and catching it opening weekend. Over in North America, The Lion King grossed $US 185 million opening weekend, officially making it the biggest Disney debut in history discounting MCU and Star Wars movies.
It’s also the ninth biggest North American opening weekend of all-time (sans inflation) ahead of films like Incredibles 2 ($US 182.6 million), Captain America: Civil War ($US 179 million) and Beauty and the Beast ($US 174.7 million). In fact, nine out of the top 10 films on the list are owned by Disney; the anomaly being Jurassic World ($US 208.8 million).
Outside of North America, The Lion King did even better, raking in over $US 346 million. This puts its opening weekend global cume at a whopping $US 531 million. Make no mistake, unless something crazy happens over the next few weeks, the film will gross over $US 1 billion by the end of its run becoming the 40th movie in history to ever do so. Where it goes from there though, is anybody’s guess.
It has an 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and an ‘A’ on Cinemascore, which tells us that unlike critics, the general audiences love the film. The film will also not be facing any competition over the next couple of weeks until Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw drifts its way onto the big screen on 1 August 2019.
All of this bodes well for the film’s box office numbers in the coming weeks as there’s nothing to suggest a massive drop in its second weekend. By the end of its run, it’s entirely possible that The Lion King beats the likes of Black Panther ($US 1.346 billion) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($US 1.341 billion) and find its way to the top 10 highest-grossing films of all time worldwide. But it’s still a little early to tell.
The Lion King is currently screening in Malaysian cinemas.