Box Office: Disney Sets New Record with ‘Lion King,’ ‘Once Upon a Time…’ Opens to $40M

Disney has set a new box office milestone on Sunday, crossing the record for global ticket sales for a single banner. The Studio smashed its record of $7.61B set in 2016 with a massive $7.67B haul worldwide this weekend. Disney also became the first studio to cross the $5B mark overseas with an estimated $5.09B on Sunday. The latest offering of the Studio, the live-action remake ‘The Lion King,’ roared through the weekend box office with a huge $142.8M from 53 offshore markets, bringing its overseas earnings to $611.9M with a global haul of $962.7M.

Director Jon Favreau’s hyperrealistic take on the 1994 animated classic of the same name is already the fifth-biggest grosser of the year. If estimates hold in the coming days, ‘The Lion King’ will join the elite billion-dollar club of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Captain Marvel‘ and ‘Aladdin.’ An impressive $75M earned by the movie from North American market this weekend helped it to retain its mantle of the King at the domestic box office with a $350M haul. The film is performing well in overseas markets with huge potential like China with a promising $114M, the United Kingdom with $45M, Brazil with $42M, and France with $40M. ‘The Lion King’ is yet to launch its box office hunt in Japan on August 9 and in Italy on August 21.

Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino’s vintage epic ‘Once Upon a Time In Hollywood’ kick-started with an estimated $40.4M, making it the second biggest opener this week behind ‘The Lion King.’ The R-rated all-star ensemble also set a new opening day record for Tarantino, while grossing his career-best, $16.8M on Friday. The opening, apparently an explosive one for a non-franchise flick, has heightened Sony’s expectations about the movie. ‘Once Upon a Time…’ already garnered significant word of mouth and rave reviews within the first three days at the box office. The Leonardo DiCaprio-Brad Pitt onscreen bromance has emerged as one of the deadliest combos in recent times and is fueling the movie’s pace.

Described as Tarantino’s heartfelt love letter to the ’60s Hollywood, the movie is an ode to everything that marked the decisive decade like music, fashion, controversies, technology, icons, and most importantly, insecurities and identity crises of a bunch of actors on the face of a radical transformation of the film industry. Margot Robbie plays the real-life character of actress Sharon Tate in the movie. Other cast includes Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell, Lena Dunham, and the late Luke Perry.

While ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Once Upon a Time…’ hold the estimates, Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ captures a third place in the box office race, adding $12.2M to its massive domestic gross of $344M. Disney’s ‘Toy Story 4’ lands at the fourth with a $10M, boosting its global earnings to $918M. Paramount’s alligator thriller ‘Crawl’ rounds out the top 5 with a $4M weekend gross and $31M total domestic gross. This week will see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham lock horns with the villainous Idris Elba in ‘Fast & Furious’ spin-off ‘Hobbs & Shaw,’ which is set to hit theaters on August 2, 2019. (Cover Image Courtesy: Disney)