With an estimated $185 million, Disney's The Lion King topped the weekend box office with a record opening weekend for the month of July, topping the previous record held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 ($169.1m). The debut is the second largest opening of the year so far and seventh largest of all-time. The film's debut in 4,725 locations was also a record and the debut was also the largest ever for a PG-rated film.
Digging further, the back-and-forth over just how to classify the film — Is it animated or is it live-action? — makes for something of a conundrum on Mojo's charts. Should you determine the CGI-animated feature is an animated film, then it is technically the largest opening ever for an animated feature, topping Incredibles 2 ($182.6m). Additionally, Mojo lists the film as one of Disney's Live Action Reimaginings, begging the question over whether it is live-action or not and how much does intent matter? The film is intended to appear as if it is live-action, which is to say we may be closer than ever to defining a whole new medium in filmmaking.
Looking ahead, while critics were lukewarm on the film, opening day audiences gave it an "A" CinemaScore. Opening weekend crowds were 53% female with 50% of the audience coming in aged 25 or older. Ignoring genre classifications for the moment, looking at Disney Live Action Reimaginings going back to 2014's Maleficent we see these films averaging a 3.18x multiplier, which would suggest The Lion King is looking at a domestic run around $590 million and that is considering Aladdin's current 3.7x multiplier and that film is still ranking in the weekend top ten with room to run. Should Lion King match Aladdin's current multiplier we're talking about a domestic run over $687 million. However, should it play closer to 2017's Beauty and the Beast that run is more likely to finish closer to $535 million.
Internationally, The Lion King added another $269 million this weekend for an international cume that now stands at $346 million and a global cume totaling $531 million. Technically, this was the film's second weekend internationally after it opened in China last weekend where the picture has already grossed $97.5 million. Beyond that, other top grossing markets include the UK ($19.9m), France ($19.6m), Mexico ($18.7m), Brazil ($17.9m), Korea ($17.7m), Australia ($17.1m), Russia ($16.7m), Germany ($12.3m), India ($9.0m), Spain ($8.4m) and Netherlands ($6m). The film will open in Hong Kong next weekend followed by openings in Japan (Aug 9) and Italy (Aug 21).
Sony's Spider-Man: Far from Home finished in second place after two weekends atop the box office with an estimated $21 million. The film's domestic cume now stands just shy of $320 million as it enters its third week in release. An international update for Spider-Man was not available as of press time.
Disney and Pixar's Toy Story 4 held on very well in the face of The Lion King, delivering an estimated $14.6 million for a third place finish and a domestic cume that now tops $375 million as the animated feature begins its fifth week in release. Internationally, Toy Story 4 added another $25.8 million, pushing the film's overseas cume to $483.9 million and a global cume just shy of $860 million, making it the fifth highest worldwide release for Pixar all-time.
Paramount's Crawl dipped -50% for an estimated $6 million three-day and a domestic cume that now stands just shy of $24 million after ten days in release. Internationally, the film has still only reached ~26% of the marketplace and brought in $2.7 million from 21 markets for an overseas cume that currently stands just shy of $10 million.
Rounding out the top five is Universal's Yesterday, which dipped just -24% for a three-day totaling just over $5 million, raising the film's domestic cume to $57.5 million as it enters its fourth week in release. The film also added another $4.3 million internationally this weekend for a $40.6 million overseas cume, bringing the global cume for the $26 million production just shy of $100 million.
Just outside the top twelve, Bleecker's The Art of Self-Defense expanded into 550 locations (+543) and brought in an estimated $1.05 million, bringing the film's domestic cume to $1.2 million.
In limited release, Sony Classics debuted David Crosby: Remember My Name into four locations with an estimated $41,050 ($10,263 PTA); Blue Fox's Rosie brought in an estimated $2,970 from two theaters in New York and Los Angeles; Big World's I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians opened in one theater with an estimated $2,176; and Cinema Libre's At War opened with $1,550, also in only one theater.
Finally, this weekend saw a new king of the global box office in the form of Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Endgame. The massive conclusion to Marvel's Infinity Saga topped Avatar, which has held the worldwide record gross for ten years, as Endgame's global tally now stands at $2.79 billion. Added to that, if you missed the announcement, Marvel titled several of its upcoming 2020 and 2021 releases as the next phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to begin.
Next weekend sees the release of Quentin Tarantino's latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which will be opening in over 3,500 locations.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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