The Lion King 3D blew past even the most optimistic expectations and scored the second highest opening ever for a movie re-release. Seems The Lion King is still one of the most beloved Disney animated features and with this 3D version a new generation can experience this true classic. The numbers are coming right after the break.
I don’t know about you guys but I still love The Lion King and consider it just as good now as it was 17 years ago when it made $312 million in North America. Back in 2002 it was released again in IMAX and went on to gross another $15.6 million. Now, in 2011, The Lion King 3D opened with a staggering $30.1 million taking a well deserved first place at the box office over the weekend. Thanks to this new 3D remastered version, The Lion King stands at a new grand total of $361 million in North America, overtaking Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and the very recent Transformers: Dark of the Moon, both 3D features.
2nd was Contagion with $14.5 million and after 11 days it has amassed $45.2 million in North America. New release Drive (that I though would finish first) was a bit underwhelming with $11.3 million for 3rd place. I have not seen it yet so I can’t comment on the qualities (or lack of) that are present in Drive. What I can say is, while critics seem to love it, audiences are not as impressed giving Drive a disappointing “C-” CinemaScore (market research firm that surveys film audiences to rate their viewing experiences with letter grades “F” to “A+”, with the average grade for most movies being a “B+”). The CinemaScore of a movie is usually a good indication of the word of mouth it will get and for Drive, it ain’t looking pretty. I’m estimating it will end up with just $25 million when all is said and done, almost doubling the estimated production budget of $13 million (good thing it was so cheap).
The Help finished in 4th place with $6.5 million for an incredible $148 million after 41 days. Just to give you an example, this movie got an “A+” CinemaScore and with fantastic word of mouth came great legs at the box office and look where it is now after opening with just $26 million.
Straw Dogs was a bit down on its luck, only $5.1 million and among similar revenge flicks, that means half as much as the opening of the recently released Colombiana. The last new opener of the weekend was I Don’t Know How She Does It with $4.4 million and 6th place. For Sarah Jessica Parker this is one of her worst openings in recent years, definitely not a good sign for the 46 year old actress.