The Lion King Takes the Throne

Lion King Movie Monday

King of the Jungle? Try King of the Box Office.

The Lion King, the computer-animated remake of Disney’s classic cartoon, felt the love of its fans this weekend. It clawed its way to an estimated $185 million in North America—a record for the month of July and the seventh-highest opening ever—and outdistanced its nearest competitor by a stunning $164 million. It did quite well overseas, too, claiming $346 million internationally. That gives The Lion King a worldwide total of $531 million already—just as its own theatrical circle of life begins. Must we roll out perhaps this blog’s worst all-time pun (which, let’s face it, is saying something) and say that The Lion King was the box office’s undisputed (wait for it) mane attraction? I guess we just did.

The only thing that roared louder than this lion this weekend was, well, a mouse.

See, The Lion King serves as merely a feudal vassal to Disney’s Emperor Mickey, who just keeps expanding his own domain. Disney execs had barely raised a toast to The Lion King’s success when they were given another reason to celebrate: Avengers: Endgame squeaked ahead of 2009’s Avatar to become the world’s highest-grossing movie of all time. Endgame now has earned $2.79 billion around the globe—just a shade higher than Avatar’s $2.789 billion. It seems unlikely that Endgame will surpass Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the biggest domestic blockbuster in history, but you won’t hear anyone at Disney complain. After all, the studio owns ‘em both.

Not impressed with the Mouse House’s 2019 performance yet? Here’s another stat for you. With The Lion King’s success, Disney is responsible for five of the year’s six biggest stateside blockbusters: Endgame ($854.2 million), Captain Marvel ($426.8 million), Toy Story 4 ($375.5 million), Aladdin ($340 million) and, of course, The Lion King.

The only non-Disney film in that top six? That’d be Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. It finished second this weekend with an estimated $21 million, pushing its cumulative total to a healthy $319.7 million. That makes it the year’s fifth highest-grossing movie (wedged between two Disney remakes, Aladdin and The Lion King). But even though Far From Home may be a Sony movie, it’s got mouse prints all over it: Spidey had a sizable role in Endgame, too, and Far From Home served as something of a coda for this stage of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Toy Story 4 continues to pack its toybox with cash. It earned $14.6 million to finish third. Crawl, a reptilian horror flick, showed it still has some bite in its second week, swallowing whole another $6 million. And the musical romance Yesterday managed to perform an encore at No. 5, collecting $5.1 million this weekend.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I forgot to mention the best thing about The Lion King besides the spectacular visuals, and that is the brand-new Elton John song performed during the credits. As a huge Elton John fan it was a welcome surprise to hear a new song from him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't believe people are still talking about Endgame. Simply amazing to me.
Hannah Cole More than 1 year ago
That's because it was a simply amazing movie! Heh heh. In all seriousness, I think people will be referencing it for years to come since it was so insanely popular, and also because it recently took the top spot.
Karl The Klown More than 1 year ago
No Tech Tuesday?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kinda nice though. Culure Clips are better.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saw The Lion King this weekend and thought it was a very very good movie. It was sort of like seeing the animated version again on the big screen, just a hundred percent more detailed and defined than ever before. From the animals fur to the bugs, the trees, even the rocks, everything was super enhanced and looked so photo-realistic I swear I was right there in the savannah with everyone else. If nothing else this movie deserves to have praise heaped upon it for the sheer detail of it all. Sure it was essentially the same old story like before, but because of all the extra attention to detail it felt brand-new to me, and that alone made for a wonderful movie-going experience.
charitysplace More than 1 year ago
Be interesting to see if Avatar 2 beats Endgame. ;)

Adjusted for inflation, isn't Gone With the Wind still the #1 moneymaker in the world?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has beat Avatar. Easily. It's now 500k+ ahead of it. But I was reading a rerelease of Avatar before the sequel comes out would make it easy for it to retake the throne.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy 

I don’t see that happening, to be honest. 3-D tickets are not as big a draw today as they were 10 years ago.

But hey, we do live in a world where Aquaman made over a billion dollars, so anything is possible!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ha! Very true!

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Although we’ll never hear the end of it from MCU fanboys, I will say it one time:

Congratulations to Marvel and the Russo brothers on Endgame becoming the highest grossing film!

Now here’s hoping Disney stops hogging the box office.