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Disney’s The Lion King is already crossing $100 million at the overseas box office, where it opened midweek in several markets after launching first in China last weekend. It lands in North America Friday following Thursday night previews.
China leads the haul so far with $72.6 million, a solid showing for a family film.
On Wednesday, the Jon Favreau-directed update launched in a handful of other markets, bringing its total to $94.5 million. It posted the second biggest opening day of the year behind Avengers: Endgame in a few markets, including France, where it grossed a big $4.8 million, Australia ($2.9 million), Germany ($2.3 million) and the Netherlands ($1.3 million).
Its opening day was more than double those of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book in France, Germany and South Korea ($2.2 million).
If prerelease tracking is any indication, the Disney tentpole will easily earn between $150 million and $180 million in its North American launch for a global haul of $450 million or more through Sunday. However, look for the film to slow down considerably in China, where it faces tough competition this weekend from a local family film.
The Lion King uses groundbreaking photorealistic CG animation in re-creating the classic 1994 animated film. So far critics are divided, with the movie’s current RottenTomatoes score resting at 56 percent. The star-studded voice cast includes Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Seth Rogen, Alfre Woodard, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Kani and John Oliver. James Earl Jones reprises his original role as Mufasa.
Outside the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, only three of Disney’s live-action titles have opened north of $100 million, including Beauty and the Beast. The Jungle Book debuted to $103.3 million, while Alice In Wonderland started off with $116 million.
The Lion King is roaring into almost every foreign market this weekend, with the exception of Hong Kong (July 25), Japan (Aug. 9) and Italy (Aug. 21).
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