It seems there’s not a week goes by that Disney isn’t celebrating some box office milestone or another. Last weekend, Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame dethroned Avatar as the highest-grossing movie of all time, Aladdin hit the magical $1 billion dollar mark a few days later, and now another massive weekend for The Lion King has seen the studio set a new all-time yearly global box office record – with five months still to go!
The Lion King retained top spot in the U.S. this weekend with $75.5 million, plus a further $142.8 million internationally, for a global haul of $962.7 million. That takes Disney to an astonishing $7.67 billion for 2019 so far, thanks in no small part to massive successes such as Endgame ($2.793 billion), Captain Marvel ($1.128 billion), Aladdin ($1.010 billion), Toy Story 4 ($917.9 million).
The previous record of $7.61 billion was set by Disney back in 2016. This year, the studio still has Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker incoming, both of which will presumably join the billion dollar club and push Disney towards an unprecedented $10 billion worldwide for the year.
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, and Keegan-Michael Key (The Predator) as Kamari.