“The Lion King” will record the second-best opening of 2019 — and could replace “Incredibles 2,” which launched last year with $182.7 million, as the ninth biggest North American launch of all time.
The film is outperforming pre-release forecasts, which had been in the $150 million to $180 million range at a record 4,725 domestic locations. Disney reported that “The Lion King” delivered a massive $78.5 million opening day domestically, becoming the 10th highest opening day in industry history.
Though critics were mixed with a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, moviegoers gave “The Lion King” an A CinemaScore. Disney issued a $175 million forecast for the weekend while other estimates placed the tentpole at $188 million.
It’s the first weekend in more than a month in which the overall domestic box office has outperformed the year-ago frame.