If you needed more proof nostalgia is an easier sell than something new, here it is: The Lion King live-action remake, released just 10 days ago in the US, has already grossed more at the global box office than the 1994 original. This is according to Box Office Mojo, which has the remake at over $1 billion in revenue, about $70 million more than its source material.
The box-office bonanza is in spite of the mixed reaction the new film has gotten from critics: The Lion King (2019) has a Metacritic score of 55, versus The Lion King (1994)’s 88.
The new film has yet to catch up to the original’s domestic box office, with the 1994 movie ending up with $422 million in US revenue against the remake’s $351 million. But globally the photorealistic reimagining has been a smash hit, stacking up $616 million against the cartoon’s $545 million. (It’s almost a guarantee, though, that the new Lion King will eventually topple the original’s US box office.) Adjusted for inflation the 1994’s Lion King is still top dog, but Disney’s new version is showing no signs of slowing down—as it picked up a whopping $76 million in its second weekend of release.
Variety reported yesterday The Lion King (2019) also roared past another box office milestone, crossing the billion-dollar mark after less than three weeks in theaters joining Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel and Aladdin as the fourth Disney title to surpass $1 billion in global ticket sales in 2019. More evidence of the company’s utter dominance of the film business. And thanks to its blockbuster-heavy slate, Disney has nearly 38% of the domestic market share, a cut that increases to more than 40% when Fox, the studio its parent company purchased earlier this year, is taken into account.
This milestone makes director Jon Favreau’s hyperrealistic remake of The Lion King the fifth-biggest global release of the year, having earned $361 million at the domestic box office and $638 million overseas. Outside of North America, it had especially strong showings in China with $115 million, along with the United Kingdom with $48 million and Brazil with $44 million.