It’s the biggest preview number since Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” set the record on April 27 with $60 million. “The Lion King” is expected to debut with $150 million this weekend. Some forecasts estimate the tentpole will pull in as much as $180 million as it launches in a record 4,725 domestic locations.
Disney noted that the $23 million preview number is well ahead of the $16.3 million of “Beauty and the Beast” and $18.5 million for “Incredibles 2.”
“The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau, is a photo-realistic remake of Disney’s classic 1994 animated hit. The story is centered on a young lion named Simba assuming his role as the king of the Pride Lands animal kingdom after his father, Mufasa, is murdered. Reviewers have been split over “The Lion King” with a 56% Rotten Tomatoes rating.