Tepid critics’ reviews didn’t stop Disney fans from showing up for Disney’s remake of The Lion King, which opened its U.S. box office run with a record $185 million (estimated), the biggest launch ever for an animated film at the U.S. box office, beating the previous record-holder, Disney-Pixar’s Incredibles 2, which opened with $182.6 million last year. Outside of Disney’s Marvel and Lucasfilm brands, it is the biggest opening ever for a Disney film.
The Jon Favreau-directed photorealistic cg animation film also played strong in international markets, earning $269.4 million from 51 new markets. It was the no. 1 film in every single one of those markets, with all-time top five openings in Mexico ($18.7 million), Brazil ($17.9 million), Australia ($17.1 million), Russia ($16.7 million), and India ($9 million). In China, where the film opened a week earlier than the rest of the world, it has grossed $97.5 million to date. Lion King’s overseas total is $346 million to date, and combined with its domestic, it has $531 million worldwide.
Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4 dipped to third place in its fifth weekend, with an estimated $14.6 million. The Josh Cooley film has now grossed $375.5 million domestic, and $483.9 million foreign, for a total of $859.4 million.