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.