This weekend, Disney’s photo-realistic recreation of “The Lion King” has achieved a new record for Walt Disney Studios. It is now the highest-grossing Disney live-action movie passing “Beauty and the Beast” with $1.335B globally.
I don’t know if you can call the Jon Favreau helmed version of The Lion King live-action, however. There’s only one shot that wasn’t entirely created in a computer. If it was considered an animated film, it would have just passed Disney’s “Frozen” as the highest grossing animated movie of all time.
Either way quite an accomplishment.
The Lion King is still climbing the box office charts and is now the second highest earner domestically with ($473.1M) and internationally ($861.5M). It’s also closing in on the top ten earners for all time worldwide.
Disney continues to dominate the box office in 2019 as Toy Story 4 is also nearing the $1 billion total. It ended the weekend with an estimated $990M and still hasn’t opened in a couple big markets (Germany and Scandinavia).
These days it feels like if a Disney movie doesn’t join the billion dollar club the company had done something wrong. That’s not true, of course, there are plenty of reasons to make movies that you know won’t be a tentpole movie, but it’s nice to know Disney knows how to make a mega-hit when it needs to or it wouldn’t have the budget to make those smaller films.
What is your favorite smaller Disney movie over the last few years? I’m leaning toward “Saving Mr. Banks” myself.