Box Office: ‘Lion King’ Rules Again, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Eyes $45M Debut

As the franchise tentpoles and auteur-driven flicks lock horns for box office dominance, Disney’s ‘The Lion King‘ still rules with a second weekend haul of $22.3M from domestic ticket sales on Friday. Sony’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ which is in the second place this week, has a solid start with $16.8M opening day gross from 3,659 screens. Disney’s live-action remake of the 1994 animated classic earned a massive total of $192M, becoming the eighth biggest opener in North America ever. On the other hand, Quentin Tarantino’s star-studded retro tribute, ‘Once Upon a Time In Hollywood’ eyes an opening weekend gross between $38M and $45M. If the estimates hold, it would be Tarantino’s all-time biggest opening, surpassing the $38M debut of ‘Inglourious Basterds’ in 2009.

‘Once Upon a Time…’ has also earned positive reviews with an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, a B on CinemaScore and a 4/5 score on Postrak. But the movie has to survive the second and third-week drops to emerge as a strong contender for ‘The Lion King.’ The previous Tarantino flicks such as ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and ‘Django Unchained‘ earned an A- each on CinemaScore while grossing $120M and $162M respectively at the box office. With biggies like ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ is set to hit theaters in August, ‘Once Upon a Time…’ will have to build good word of mouth to stay afloat. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt lead the cast of the movie which is described as Tarantino’s heartfelt love letter to Hollywood of the late-60s. Margot Robbie plays the real-life character of actress Sharon Tate in the movie which also stars Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell, Lena Dunham, and the late Luke Perry, among others.

Meanwhile, ‘The Lion King’ is expected to suffer a 60% drop from its opening figures in the coming weeks. According to estimates, the movie eyes a $76.5M second-weekend haul. Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ continues to swing around the box office with a $3.5M Friday earnings. The Marvel flick holds an estimated weekend total of $11.9M in its fourth weekend with a domestic total of $344M. ‘Far From Home’ also became the first ‘Spider-Man’ flick to cross the $1B mark globally earlier this week.

Disney and Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 4‘ captures the fourth place this week with a $10M haul in its sixth weekend. The fourth installment of the ‘Toy Story’ film franchise inches close to the domestic record set by ‘Toy Story 3.’ Paramount’s alligator thriller ‘Crawl‘ is in the fifth place with a third weekend gross of $4M. While the top 5 movies enjoy a smooth sailing at the box office, the ‘Fast & Furious‘ spin-off ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ is all set to hit screens on August 2, 2019. The movie pits the reluctant partners in mischief, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham against the “legit badass” Idris Elba. (Cover Image Courtesy: Columbia Pictures)