And in a strange turn of events, it’s not from horny, confused people accidentally buying tickets to what they thought was The Loin King.
According to Deadline, Disney’s live-action version of The Lion King broke a bunch of records this weekend, which probably wasn’t a huge surprise to Disney. They’re so used to a wave of money coming at them whenever they release something. But some of us can be a little surprised, considering The Lion King was being followed by reviews so stinky, Pumbaa would be jealous.
Still, the threat of feeling deeply uncomfortable while hearing Donald Glover’s voice come out of Adult Simba’s creepy uncanny valley mouth must not have bothered too many people. Deadline says that The Lion King brought in an estimated $192 to $194 million this weekend. It set a July record for the best domestic opening, beating the record held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 since 2011. It’s also director Jon Favreau’s highest opening ever. It’s also the highest opening for a live-action Disney film, beating the previous record holder, Beauty and the Beast.
Some sites are reporting that The Lion King only (ONLY!) brought in a domestic total of $185 million this weekend, but Deadline believes the estimate of $192/$194 million is more accurate. Internationally, Beyoncé’s movie took in an estimated international box office of $346 million. All-together, The Lion King has reportedly made over $530 million in its first weekend. Not that Simba even cares – he’s royalty! $530 million is probably what he pays Rafiki for every finger-painting portrait that hangs in Pride Rock’s royal gallery.
Here’s the domestic breakdown of everyone else who made money this weekend. And by the looks of these numbers, it’s pretty clear that the rest of these movies might have only made as much money as they did because of the phrase, “I’m sorry ma’am, The Lion King is all sold out.”
1. The Lion King – $192/194 million
2. Spider-Man: Far from Home – $21 million
3. Toy Story 4 – $14.6 million
4. Crawl – $6 million
5. Yesterday – $5.1 million
6. Stuber – $4 million
7. Aladdin – $3.8 million
8. Annabelle 3 – $2.66 million
9. Midsommar – $1.59 million
10. The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $1.53 million
Seeing The Lion King is of no interest to me, because I only watch nature documentaries when I’m sick on the couch and loopy on medicine, so I’m saving my viewing of The Lion King for that. But I totally understand why it made so much money this weekend, even with all the reviews about the animals looking weird and unsettling. It’s because there was a heat wave this weekend! If the price I’ve got to pay for two hours in freezing-cold air conditioning is two hours of creepy computer-made animal faces staring through my soul, then so be it.