Avengers: Endgame topping Avatar to become the biggest film in history wasn’t the only cause for celebration at Disney this weekend, as director Jon Favreau’s remake of The Lion King dominated the box office, scoring the biggest ever July opening – a title previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Domestically, The Lion King roared with $185 million across the Friday to Sunday period, knocking Spider-Man: Far From Home down into second place. It added a further $269 million internationally, opening in 1st place in all 52 new markets; coupled with its previous takings in China (where it opened a week earlier), The Lion King now finds itself on an impressive $531 million worldwide.
The Lion King has already overtaken Disney’s first animated reimagining of the year, Dumbo, which earned just $352.2 million, and is also hot on the heels of 2015’s Cinderella, currently the sixth highest-grossing of Disney’s remakes on $543.5 million.
Lions rule the African savanna in The Lion King, which welcomes Donald Glover (Atlanta, Solo: A Star Wars Story) as future king Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Dreamgirls, Lemonade visual album) as Simba’s friend-turned-love interest Nala, and James Earl Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Field of Dreams) as Simba’s wise and loving father, Mufasa, reprising his iconic performance from Disney’s 1994 animated classic. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a Slave, Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange) was called on to portray Simba’s villainous uncle Scar, and Alfre Woodard (Juanita, Marvel’s Luke Cage) portrays Simba’s no-nonsense mother, Sarabi. JD McCrary (OWN’s Tyler Perry’s The Paynes, Apple’s Vital Signs) fills the shoes of Young Simba, a confident cub who can’t wait to be king, and Shahadi Wright Joseph (NBC’s Hairspray Live, Broadway’s The Lion King) brings tough cub Young Nala to life.
Directed by Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book), The Lion King features a voice cast that includes Donald Glover (Solo: A Star Wars Story) as Simba, Beyonce (Dreamgirls) as Nala, Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street) as Timon, Seth Rogen (Sausage Party) as Pumbaa, John Oliver (Last Week Tonight) as Zazu, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange) as Scar, James Earl Jones (The Lion King) as Mufasa, Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage) as Sarabi, John Kani (Black Panther) as Rafiki, JD McCrary (Vital Signs) as Young Simba, Shahadi Wright Joseph (Hairspray Live) as Young Nala, Eric André (Man Seeking Woman) as Azizi, Florence Kasumba (Black Panther) as Shenzi, Keegan-Michael Key (The Predator) as Kamari and Amy Sedaris (BoJack Horseman) as a new character.