Let it never be said that Disney doesn’t know how to churn out a hit at the box office. So much so in recent years that they’ve just taken to beating their own records, whilst leaving every other major studio in the dust. Case in point, The Lion King remake has continued to pile up cash in recent weeks and has managed to overtake The Avengers on the all-time chart. Yes, Simba has ascended above Earth’s mightiest heroes, which is nothing shy of impressive, to say the very least of it.
With the take over Labor Day weekend, The Lion King now stands at $1.56 billion globally. That comes with $523.5 million in domestic ticket sales, to go with a stellar $1.04 billlion take from international markets. That puts it above Marvel’s The Avengers, which nabbed a record-breaking $1.51 billion upon its release in 2012. The Lion King, which is now the seventh highest-grossing movie ever, just behind Jurassic World ($1.67 billion) also managed to push another successful cat out of the all-time top ten, as Black Panther ($1.34 billion) has been bumped down to the eleven spot.
There is a chance The Lion King could overtake Jurassic World at the all-time box office, but there is no chance it goes any higher than that. Avengers: Infinity War is sitting in the number five spot and at $2.04 billion, Disney’s latest reimagining simply isn’t going to have enough gas in the tank to get there. Still, even if it doesn’t make another dime, this is going to go down as yet another example of the Mouse House defying expectations. They’ve got a winning formula and they know how to churn out content audiences will turn up to see. In a summer where every other studio struggled to find the goods, Disney once again prospered.
One of the most interesting parts of The Lion King success story is the differing viewpoints between critics and moviegoers. The Jon Favreau-directed remake of the 1994 animated classic holds just a 53 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, yet it boasts a very solid 88 percent audience rating. The box office speaks volumes. Aladdin, which went on to gross more than $1 billion as well, suffered a similar fate critically, but also went on to be a real crowd-pleaser.
Disney is having a record-breaking year, as they’ve had five movies, Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, Captain Marvel, Toy Story 4 and Aladdin all gross at least $1 billion at the box office. They already have the record for most money earned at the box office in a calendar year by a single studio, and with big releases such as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker still on the way, they have a great shot at taking in $10 billion or more before the clock rolls over to 2020. It’s Disney’s world, we just live in it. Numbers used in this report were provided by Box Office Mojo.