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Lion King ended Sunday with a total domestic cume of $408.2 million, besting the $403.7 million earned by Sony’s Spider Man and the $402.1 million earned by Paramount’s sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
The re-release of Lion King itself has earned $79.7 million, beating all expectations. Overseas, where it is still rolling out, it has grossed $19 million for a worldwide total of $98.7 million.
“The Lion King is a timeless classic whose characters and story are as beloved today as ever. Breaking into the top 10 is a testament that quality entertainment for people of all ages is a cornerstone to achieving such incredible success,” Disney executive vice president of distribution Dave Hollis said.
In North America, Lion King came in No. 3 over the weekend after placing No. 1 the previous two weekends in one of the biggest box office upsets in recent memory. More than 90 percent of the grosses have come from 3D locations (the film is being offered on conventional screens as well).
Lion King is one of only three animated films on the all-time top 10 list after Shrek 2 ($441.2 million) and Toy Story 3 ($415 million).
Lion King has a strong shot at even eclipsing Toy Story 3, although the Diamond Blu-Ray edition of the film will be released on Oct. 4. Rival studios have questioned whether Lion King will stay in theaters once the Blu-Ray is released, but all indications are that exhibitors will keep playing the toon.
No. 1 on the domestic list of top-grossing films is Avatar ($760.5 million), followed by Titanic ($600.8 million), The Dark Knight ($533.3 million), Star Wars ($461 million), Shrek 2, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial ($435.1 million), Star Wars: Episode I–The Phantom Menace ($431.1 million), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($423.3 million), Toy Story 3 and The Lion King.
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