The amazing year for Disney continues, as The Lion King has officially crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office. This is the third remake of an animated classic that the studio has released this year following Dumbo and Aladdin. Given the results, it isn’t likely we’re going to see these movies slowing down soon. What’s truly amazing in this particular case is just how quickly the movie managed to achieve the ever-important milestone.
With the additional $9.1 million The Lion King added to its already impressive box office total domestically on Monday, the remake has now earned $360 million in North America. That, coupled with its impressive international total, has pushed it past the $1 billion mark. The Jon Favreau-directed feature has only been in U.S. theaters for 11 days and, in total, has been playing for 19 days. The live-action Aladdin remake, which also recently crossed $1 billion globally, took nearly two months to accomplish the very same feat. In a summer littered with commercial disappointments, Simba has managed to take his rightful place as king.
Another very interesting point, as it relates to this movie specifically, is that it’s yet another shining example of critics disagreeing with general audiences. As of this writing, The Lion King, which serves as a remake of the beloved 1994 animated feature of the same name, holds just a 53 percent critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Aside from the box office dollars to back it up, the audience score sits at a far better 88 percent. Aladdin, similarly, failed to connect with many critics. Yet, it proved to be a major crowd-pleaser. Sony ran into a similar situation with Venom last year.
For Disney, this is just more icing on an already thoroughly iced cake. Recently, they broke their own record for earnings by a studio in a single year at the global box office and they’re well on their way to $8 billion. The Lion King is the record-tying fourth movie to cross $1 billion for them this year, joining Avengers: Endgame ($2.79 billion), Captain Marvel ($1.12 billion) and Aladdin ($1.01 billion). Toy Story 4, currently at $919 million, also has a decent shot at getting there before all is said and done. It’s also well worth noting that Spider-Man: Far From Home, the third highest-grossing movie of 2019 ($1.03 billion), was produced by Disney’s Marvel Studios, even though it’s a Sony release.
Amazingly, Disney still has a lot of gas left in the tank. The highly-anticipated Frozen 2 is still on the way in November. Let’s not forget the original grossed a stunning $1.27 billion. Not to mention Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which will cap off the year with a surely huge opening weekend. Plus, they’ve got Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. All of this to say, it’s not hard to imagine the studio will amass $9 billion, if not closer to $10 billion of all goes well, by the end of the year. This news was previously reported by Forbes.