‘The Lion King’ Rules Box Office With Record $185 Million Opening

The Lion King (Credit: Walt Disney Pictures))

The Lion King reigned over the weekend box office and earned the biggest July opening ever.

Disney’s live-action remake of its animated 1994 classic brought in an estimated $185 million from 4,725 North American theaters, according to Comscore.

That was more than enough to top the previous record of $169.2 million held by the final Harry Potter film in 2011. The Lion King even surpassed pre-release estimates that had it making between $150 million and $180 million.

Directed by Jon Favreau, the film features a star-studded voice cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen plays Pumbaa, and James Earl Jones is Mufasa.

The film roared to a stellar debut, despite lukewarm reviews from critics who gave it a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Elsewhere at the box office, Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home slips to second place in its three weekend, with $21 million. Pixar’s Toy Story 4 takes third with $14.6 million. Paramount’s horror film Crawl is fourth with $6.0 million, and Universal’s Yesterday rounds out the top five with $5.1 million

Adding to Disney’s good fortune this weekend, Avengers: Endgame officially became the top grossing movie of all time, with a worldwide total of $2.790 billion. Avengers, which came out in April, edged past the $2.789 billion record held by James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster Avatar.