With over $788 million in the bank worldwide prior to this weekend, “The Lion King” holds the honor of being the most successful hand-drawn animation film to ever being released. Even with that in mind, nobody expected that a re-release (used primarily to promote the movie’s upcoming journey to Blu-Ray) would be as successful as it has been.
Playing on both 3D and 2D screens around the country, “The Lion King 3D” brought in a staggering $8.8 million on Friday — nearly double of what original expectations were for the classic. With this opening in mind (as well as the fact that families will be free all day), estimates are that the film will gross somewhere between $22 and $24 for the weekend — easily enough for it to be #1.
Elsewhere, news varied from decent to just downright bad. “Contagion” only dropped 42% from last Friday (not bad for a thriller movie) to finish in second place, and is set to earn around $14 million in its second weekend. Ryan Gosling’s “Drive” is expected to finish in third place with around $10 million, but the bad news here is that audiences (with a C- CinemaScore) are not liking the movie nearly as much as critics.
As for the bomb of the week, take your pick — neither “Straw Dogs” or “I Don’t Know How She Does It” looks to gross more than $6 million for the weekend, with the latter continuing a bad streak for Sarah Jessica Parker when it comes to movies not featuring Carrie Bradshaw.
Are you planning to visit the movies this weekend?
Photo: Walt Disney Pictures