Disney’s The Lion King popped on tracking this morning, and even at a conservative level, there’s a chance this live-action remake of the 1994 pic beats the $169.1M opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 for the July opening record. Another leading tracking firm has The Lion King at a $150M opening.
Currently, Lion King in first choice is tracking ahead of Toy Story 4, Aladdin, and Incredibles 2 and tied with Beauty and the Beast, the latter two openings being $182.7M and $174.8M.
Further adding to Lion King‘s projection heat: Fandango reported that the pic ranks as their second best first day presales of the year after Avengers: Endgame, while Atom Tickets declares it’s their best first-day sales for a family movie.
Now in all fairness, titles that seem to have name recognition seem to be over-tracking and under-delivering in their openings at the box office of late. Disney was figuring a $140M opening for Toy Story 4 and others even higher with the Pixar movie still posting the best opening in the franchise and the third best opening of the year with a respectable $120.9M. It’s an embarrassment of riches and an handicap for Disney: Since they’re the keeper of platinum IP, they’ll come on tracking hot and wild, yet still do respectable numbers. Those in distribution circles believe this funkiness in tracking will even itself out. No doubt, Lion King together with Spider-Man: Far From Home, which already is 91% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes after its media screenings and Hollywood world premiere last night, it’s going to be a rich July.
Currently, The Lion King is skewing strong with females in first choice, like Beauty and the Beast, and well above Toy Story 4 and Aladdin.
Jon Favreau, who was behind Disney’s $966.6M global grossing success The Jungle Book, directs Lion King. The original movie released under the Jeffrey Katzenberg animation regime was a huge success for the studio in June 1994 earning a lifetime gross of $422.7M and WW of $968.4M. The pic won two Oscars for Hans Zimmer’s original score and the Elton John-Tim Rice song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”.