With a mighty roar Disney's The Lion King made a trimuphant return to theaters this weekend, topping the box office chart and proving that not all re-releases are doomed to mediocrity.
The last time Disney foisted one of its previous blockbuster animated films into the 3D realm the results were, in a word, flat. The double feature 3D re-release of the first two Toy Story movies in October, 2009 only earned $12 million its opening weekend and topped off at just $32 million world wide. Lion King has almost devoured that total this weekend, banking $29 million state-side.
That's not quite comparable to the $40 million the movie earned during it's original wide release in 1994 when it also took the top spot in theaters, but is nearly double what it made the last time it was re-released. Fans of the film will remember Disney sent Simba and gang back to the biggest screen as an IMAX feature in 2002, an endeavor that only took in $15 million total in its brief run.
The return of the king eclipsed all other new releases this weekend, including Ryan Gosling's newest offering Drive. The action thriller settled for $11 million and third place behind last week's topper Contagion which took in $14 million.
Unimpressive newcomers Straw Dogs and I Don't Know How She Does It made pitiable debuts with only $5 million and $4 million respectively.
For the full weekend top ten check out the chart below: