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Disney’s ‘Lion King’ remake beats box office predictions

Live-action film “The Lion King”
Disney’s newest incarnation of “The Lion King” over-performed with $185 million in North American box office receipts.
(Disney)

Disney continued its box office winning streak this weekend as the studio’s computer-animated remake of “The Lion King” roared into theaters to the tune of $185 million in North American receipts, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

Analysts had pegged the film to open at $150 million and $175 million. Internationally, the film made $269.4 million this weekend for a global cumulative of $531 million to date, $25.2 million of which came from Imax tickets.

A photorealistic version of the animated 1994 musical, “The Lion King” was met with mixed reception with an A CinemaScore and a 55% “rotten” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

Disney’s grosses have accounted for roughly 35% of the year’s domestic ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo, not counting the Fox films it has distributed. In fact, the studio has been behind four of the top five movies at the global box office this year: “Captain Marvel,” “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4" and “Avengers: Endgame,” which surpassed “Avatar” on Saturday as the top-grossing global release of all time with $2.79 billion. The fifth, Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” was co-produced by Disney’s Marvel Studios.

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The other big winner was A24’s “The Farewell,” which expanded to 35 locations after opening last weekend in Los Angeles and New York. The Lulu Wang comedy-drama starring Awkwafina earned $1.17 million for a robust per-screen average of $33,473. The film expands to additional markets Friday, before opening wide on Aug. 2.

The big weekend helped the overall box office, but domestic ticket sales remain down 7.3% from the same period last year, according to Comscore.

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” finished in second place, adding $21 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $319.7 million.

At No. 3, “Toy Story 4" added $14.6 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $375.5 million. The film stands at $859.4 million in global ticket sales.

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In fourth place, Paramount’s “Crawl” added $6 million in its second weekend for a cumulative $23.8 million.

Rounding out the top five, Universal’s “Yesterday” added $5.1 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $57.6 million.

At No. 6, Fox’s “Stuber” added $4 million in its second weekend for a cumulative $16.1 million.

Coming in seventh, “Aladdin” added $3.8 million in its ninth weekend for a cumulative $340 million.

In eighth place, Warner Bros.’ “Annabelle Comes Home” added $2.7 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $66.6 million.

At No. 9, A24’s “Midsommar” added $1.6 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $22.5 million.

Rounding out the top 10, Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2" earned $1.5 million in its seventh weekend for a cumulative $151.6 million.

In limited release, Sony Pictures Classics debuted the documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name” in four theaters to $41,050 for a per-screen average of $10,263. It earned a 96% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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This week, Sony releases Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”


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