Disney’s The Lion King is off to a roaring start. After earning $23 million from Thursday night previews, The Lion King added $55.5 million on Friday to take its one-day domestic total to $78.5 million. With this opening, The Lion King is on track for a $200 million opening wekeend, pretty much in line with what was predicted a while back. Internationally, the movie already opened huge in China and has thus far made $192 million for a worldwide total of $270 million in just a day of its release.
Moreover, audiences on Cinemascore gave the movie an average score of A. This is in stark contrast to critic reviews which heavily criticized the film’s lack of originality and nearly rated it Rotten (it’s currently at 55%). The movie is also receiving middling reviews on IMDb, where it’s current rating is a meagre 7. Despite this, audiences appear to be flocking to theaters just to either see what the fuss is about or experience the realism of the animals on the big screen.
For those who’re expecting to relive the original animated classic on the big screen through a nearly shot for shot remake, Jon Favreau’s The Lion King might very well be the perfect CGI remake. It provides those audiences exactly what they’re expecting: nothing new. On the other hand, those looking for a fresh spin to Simba and Mufasa’s tale like say, The Jungle Book, might end up being disappointed. So far, box office indicates the former set of audiences is surpassing the latter but it’ll be interesting to track in the days ahead.
The Lion King is out in theaters now. Let us know what you thought about the movie if you’ve seen it in the comments below.