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Disney has several live action reimaginings heading into theaters in 2019. Ahead of Aladdin, The Lion King and Maleficent 2, the studio will be putting out Tim Burton’s live action take on Dumbo. Now, tracking is in for the late March release and it looks like Dumbo should do well on opening weekend, although it may not be a record breaker for the House of Mouse.
Early estimates have Dumbo making around $50 million on opening weekend. That’s domestically, of course, and numbers from theaters worldwide should beef up that number. THR also notes the new live action flick could make as much as $60 million if all goes well. This is close to the long-range forecasting, which previously had Dumbo in a range of $45-$65 million.
If the numbers hold, that would not be a gigantic opening for this type of movie. So far, the highest opening weekend for a live action Disney film went to Beauty and the Beast, which came out back in 2017 and made roughly $170 million domestically opening weekend. The Jungle Book also had a large opening total, surprising with a little over $103 million domestically when it hit theaters in 2016.
If Dumbo opens in the range it is expected to, it will land ahead of movies like Alice Through The Looking Glass ($26.8 million opening) and Pete’s Dragon ($21.5 million opening), but behind other live action remake earners like Maleficent ($69 million opening) and Cinderella ($67.9 million opening).
Most of Disney’s live action movies have had budgets in the $100 million+ range and movies like Maleficent have been closer to $180 million (although Pete’s Dragon was reportedly made for much less than $100 million). Ultimately, whether a $50 or $60 million opener will be enough to propel Dumbo to a box office win depends on a lot of factors: How much was the budget? Are people seeing the movie elsewhere in the world? Can it stay competitive for several weeks as April releases start coming out?
Of course, box office estimates aren’t an exact science, either. We’re always hopeful for surprises of the positive variety at CinemaBlend and if Dumbo ends up doing more than $60 million it could be a great start for live action remakes this year. Likewise, if the flick doesn’t strike gold, Disney has three more shots at huge moneymakers in that category alone this year.
That may not be why the studio has so many movies primed to come out in 2019, however. Previously, it looked as if Disney could beat its own domestic box office record this year and now that Maleficent 2 has been thrown in, it’s looking even more likely.
Ultimately, Disney has a lot of live action reimaginings of classics coming out in the next nine months, specifically now that the studio has swapped Maleficent 2’s date from 2020 to 2019. It will be interesting to see whether or not there’s an appetite for that many remakes in one year, or if we’ll have a Solo type of story on our hands with one or two of them.
Of course, stay tuned to Weekend Box Office to see how Dumbo and other big spring movies do.