Weekend Box Office Report: The Lion King remake roars!

Disney remake takes a mighty big box office bite!

Disney continued re-imagining their animated classics to great success this weekend as THE LION KING prowled the top of the chart with an estimated opening of $185 million!

The new version of the beloved 1994 animated feature scored the biggest opening weekend for an animated movie (although there’s debate over whether¬† the remake should be classified as animated or live-action, with even the director unsure of how to define his own movie).

Jon Favreau‘s update of Simba the lion’s journey also broke the opening weekend record for a July release (ahead of the $169 million start of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 in 2011) and had the best opening ever for a PG-rated movie. It landed the eighth-highest domestic debut of all time, and was Disney’s best opening weekend outside the realm of STAR WARS and Marvel brands.

The musical adventure, featuring the voices of Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones and numerous others, has also chewed up $346 million from international audiences for a worldwide total of $531 million.

The original animated THE LION KING began with $40.8 million domestic on its first wide weekend and went on to $312 million in 1994, with subsequent releases on IMAX (in 2002) and in 3D (in 2011) ultimately taking it to $422 million domestic and $968 million worldwide.

Bringing the cast of African animals to photorealistic life (expanding on the technology that Favreau used to create the 2016 live-action hybrid hit THE JUNGLE BOOK) cost a reported $260 million.

Critics didn’t particularly feel the love for the latest Disney do-over, giving the movie a 55% average on Rotten Tomatoes. Roam on over to the JoBlo review HERE.

In second place was the PG-13 comic sequel SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME with $21 million over its third weekend in theaters. The European vacation of Marvel’s wall-crawler (distributed by Sony) has webbed up a domestic total of $319.6 million, climbing over the $318 million domestic finish of the first IRON MAN and the $315 million total of THOR: RAGNAROK.

With $970.8 million worldwide so far, Tom Holland‘s fifth MCU appareance is now the biggest Spider-Man movie of all time as it defeated the global totals for SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING ($880 million) and Sam Raimi‘s SPIDER-MAN 3 ($890 million).

Pixar’s sequel TOY STORY 4 was in third place with $14.6 million as the animated antics of Woody and Buzz Lightyear have collected $375.5 million domestic. After five weeks, the G-rated follow-up has a worldwide total of $859.4 million, on a reported cost of $200 million.

The Sam Raimi-produced killer-aligator movie CRAWL was in fourth place with $6 million, chomped in half by 50% from its opening last weekend. Director Alexandre Aja‘s R-rated horror-thriller has a ten-day domestic total of $23.8 million and $33.7 million worldwide on a reported cost of $13.5 million.

Director Danny Boyle‘s PG-13 musical comedy YESTERDAY kept strumming in fifth place with $5.1 million for a domestic total of $57.5 million. The “world without Beatles songs except for what one guy remembers” fantasy has a worldwide total of $98.1 million, on a reported cost of $26 million.

In sixth place was the R-rated Dave Bautista/Kumail Nanjiani team-up STUBER with $4 million, stalling by 51% from last weekend’s opening. The $16 million “buddy cop” action-comedy has a ten-day domestic total of $16 million and $18.9 million worldwide.

Disney’s live-action ALADDIN was in seventh place with $3.8 million for a domestic total of $340 million on its ninth weekend in theaters. The PG-rated fantasy remake now has a worldwide total of $988.8 million on a reported $183 million cost.

The R-rated horror sequel ANNABELLE COMES HOME was in eighth place with $2.6 million. After four weekends, the spinoff of THE CONJURING has a domestic total of $66.5 million and a worldwide total of $196.2 million, on a reported cost of $30 million.

At the bottom of the list was the R-rated thriller MIDSOMMAR and the PG-rated animated sequel THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2, each with $1.5 million for the weekend.

Outside the chart, the Chris Hemsworth/Tessa Thompson sci-fi comedy MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL was sent off-world after lingering for five weekends in the Top 10.

And on its 13th weekend in release, Marvel’s AVENGERS: ENDGAME can finally claim bragging rights as the highest-grossing movie in history as it reached $2.79 billion worldwide to narrowly nudge past the global total of James Cameron‘s AVATAR (although STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS remains the domestic box office champ).

In limited release, the PG-rated Awkwafina comedy-drama THE FAREWELL continued strong business with $1.1 million for the weekend on 35 screens (a $33k per-screen average), while the R-rated Jesse Eisenberg comedy THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE expanded to 550 locations for a $1 million weekend.

Next weekend’s only major contender is filmmaker Quentin Tarantino‘s R-rated period piece ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD with Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie.

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