'The Lion King' Shatters Box Office Records Despite Average Reviews
Walt Disney Pictures

The live-action adaptation of Disney's classic animated movie debuts to record-breaking $185 million in North America, marking the biggest July opening of all time and the biggest opening for a Disney remake.

AceShowbiz - "The Lion King (2019)" roars into the top spot of North American box office. The latest live-action remake from Walt Disney Pictures. earned an estimated $185 million after opening in U.S. theaters on July 19, breaking various domestic records.

The Jon Favreau-directed movie posted the biggest July opening of all time, surpassing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II" which made $169.2 million in July 2011. It also marked the biggest domestic launch ever for a PG movie, animated or otherwise, beating "Incredibles 2" ($182.7 million in 2018).

"The Lion King" additionally set new records for Disney, surpassing "Beauty and the Beast (2017)", which debuted to $174.7 million in March 2017, for the biggest opening of all time for a remake by the studio. The movie also posted the biggest Disney opening of all time outside of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, taking over the title from "Incredibles 2".

The musical film's first weekend tally has become the night-biggest domestic opening of all time, below "Avengers: Age of Ultron" at No. 8 with $192 million.

Overseas, "The Lion King" remake has made $346 million for a worldwide total of $531 million. The pic has additionally landed among the top five movie openings of all time in Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and the entire Latin America region.

"We've had a spectacular run this weekend," said Cathleen Taff, Disney's president of distribution. "We really did know we had something special with ('The Lion King') given its popularity with fans of all ages."

The movie earned mixed reviews from critics, holding an approval rating of 55% and an average rating of 6.12/10. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, explained the movie's commercial performance which didn't resonate with the reviews, "Certain brands have so much goodwill and equity. Reviews clearly didn't matter at all." Moviegoers, indeed, clearly loved it, giving the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale on CinemaScore.

Others in the top five of the domestic chart this weekend are "Spider-Man: Far From Home" which is pushed to No. 2 with additional $21 million, "Toy Story 4" at No. 3 with an estimated $14.6 million, "Crawl" which also drops one spot to No. 4 with approximately $6 million, and "Yesterday" which still holds on to No. 5 with an estimated $5.1 million.

Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for July 19-21:

  1. "The Lion King (2019)" - $185 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 Comes Home" - $2.7 million
  9. "Midsommar" - $1.6 million
  10. "The Secret Life of Pets 2" - $1.5 million

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