The roar of “The Lion King” rattled the cinematic world Sunday as the new Disney film scored a huge debut in North American theaters with an estimated $185 million for the three-day weekend, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported.
It was frosting on the cake for Disney, whose “Avengers: Endgame” is on the verge of passing “Avatar” as the all-time most money-making movie. Disney said Friday it expected that to happen this weekend, although Exhibitor Relations’ figures showed it still slightly short of the record.
“The Lion King,” director Jon Favreau’s update of the classic 1994 animated film, notched the biggest domestic launch ever for a PG-rated film, and an all-time record for a July release, the Hollywood Reporter said. Worldwide, the movie has passed the half-billion-dollar mark.
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The film employs hyper-realistic computer-generated images and has a voice cast including Donald Glover as Simba and Beyonce as Nala, as well as Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and James Earl Jones.
Well back in second place was Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” at $21 million. The latest installment in the blockbuster franchise picks up where “Avengers: Endgame” left off, with Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man atop a cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal — and Favreau.
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In third was “Toy Story 4,” taking in $14.6 million in its fifth week out. The family-friendly Disney/Pixar animation features the voices of Tom Hanks (Woody) and Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear).
Fourth spot went to Paramount’s “Crawl,” at $6 million. The disaster thriller tells the story of a father and daughter (Barry Pepper and Kaya Scodelario) battling hungry gators after a hurricane hits their Florida town.
And in fifth was Universal’s “Yesterday,” at $5.1 million. The sweet comedy is based on the entertaining if fantastic premise of a struggling musician (Himesh Patel) being one of the only people on Earth who remembers the Beatles. Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran has an amusing cameo.
Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:
“Stuber” ($4 million)
“Aladdin” ($3.8 million)
“Annabelle Comes Home” ($2.7 million)
“Midsommar” ($1.6 million)
“The Secret Life of Pets 2” ($1.5 million)