Simba and Mufasa reigned supreme this weekend as Disney’s “The Lion King” dominated box office charts.
Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the animated classic collected a massive $185 million from 4,756 North American theaters during its first three days of release.
That figure represents the second-best domestic debut of the year behind Disney and Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” ($357 million). It also marks the biggest opening yet for a Disney remake of its original cartoons.
Overseas, “The Lion King” felt the love with $269 million for a global start of $433 million. The film launched in China last weekend and has since earned $98 million, boosting the worldwide haul to $531 million.
The state-of-the-art technology used to bring the Pride Lands and its inhabitants to life drew a polarizing response from reviewers, but the newest version of Disney’s crown jewel proved to be critic-proof.
Movie goers flocked en masse to see Simba’s grand return to the big screen, and to much enthusiasm. “The Lion King” holds an A CinemaScore.
Audiences also shelled out to see the hyper-realistic movie in the best quality possible. Imax theaters accounted for $9 million of tickets sold, while $25 million came from 3D screens.
“Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” landed in third, adding $14 million from its fifth outing. That boosts revenues for the animated fourquel to $375 million in North America.
At No. 4, Paramount’s alligator thriller “Crawl” generated $6 million for a domestic tally of $23 million. Rounding out the top five is Universal’s musical rom-com “Yesterday,” which pocketed $5.1 million during its fourth weekend of release. The movie has grossed $57.5 million to date.