No surprises or underwhelming results this Box Office weekend, with single entrant ‘The Lion King’ opening to a July-best $191.8m; taking the crown from the final Harry Potter instalment ‘The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2’, which opened to $169.2m back in 2011. Yet, this wasn’t the biggest talking point of a weekend that also gave us a memorable Comic-Con. That crown was given to ‘Avengers: Endgame’, which made history on Sunday night by becoming the biggest grossing film in global history.
How did the new releases get on?
It was always going to be a close fight between 2017’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Lion King’ in the war of the biggest Disney live-action remake, and this weekend’s grossing didn’t disprove this, as ‘Beauty’s $174.8m was no match for the $192m earned by ‘Lion King’ from a record 4,725 cinemas.
By winning this 1st battle, the film has not only become the 2nd biggest opening of the year so far, as well as the 8th biggest opening of all time (ahead of ‘Age of Ulton’s $191.3m), but has also become Disney’s largest non-MCU or ‘Star Wars’ opening, officially cementing the ‘Reimaginings’ as the 3rd stone in the studio’s franchise gauntlet.
Not bad for a film with just 54% on the Tomatometer, although this was never the film to succumb to critic backlash. Audiences were much fonder of this remake of the 1994 classic, bestowing an 89% score on RT, as well as an A on Cinemascore,
Where can it go from here? Disney will hope the relatively barren August period will help it leg out for the rest of the summer. A run like that of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ will ensure it earns around $540m, while a run like that of ‘Incredibles 2’, which opened to a massive $182.7m last summer, will see the film break that $600m barrier.
Internationally, ‘The Lion King’ earned big with a global weekend of $466m. Having already earned $97.5m from China (who released the film a week ago), the film saw $19.9m from the UK this weekend, for a worldwide running total of $544m.
How did the others do?
Usually, a film earning $1.5m for an 11th place finish during a domestic weekend wouldn’t make the news, but ‘Endgame’s efforts, along with its international haul, ended Sunday night on a global total of $2.79bn, making it the highest grossing film in cinematic history. After beating out ‘Avatar’s $2.789bn by just $500k, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ now sits on the throne that was held by the aforementioned film for 10 years, and has a little left in the tank to leave some distance between 1st and 2nd place.
This weekend also saw ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ and ‘Aladdin’ draw ever closer to the $1bn mark respectively, with the 2 sitting on $971m and $989.1m apiece globally. Their domestic weekends brought in an impressive $21.2m and $4.1m each, and by next weekend will be the newest members into the billion-dollar club.