The summer kicked off with a bang with Avengers: Endgame, currently the second highest-grossing movie of all time. Analysts and movie buffs are trying to find what the next big hit of the summer will be and all evidence is pointing toward The Lion King. The remake of the classic film is due to hit theaters in July and when it does, it will do so with a roar. Current projections for The Lion King have it opening to $201 million and a total domestic gross of $650 million.
Disney is no stranger to remaking the most iconic animated films in its library. It's found massive success in films like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, both of which were one of the highest-grossing films of the respective years they were released. So, no one was surprised when The Lion King was called up to the plate, with Jon Favreau leading the charge with cutting-edge photo-realistic technology.
The Lion King is beloved by multiple generations and those fans will turn out big time when the remake arrives in theaters. According to BoxOfficePro, The Lion King could open within the range of $180-$230 million. If that happens, the 2019 Lion King would top Beauty and the Beast's $174 million as the biggest opening weekend of any Disney "live-action" remake.
There are multiple factors working in The Lion King's favor. First off, the reaction to the trailer for The Lion King has been well received. The first trailer received 225 million views in the first 24 hours, which was ranked second all-time among all studio releases at that time. For comparison, Beauty and the Beast's trailer scored 128 million in its first day.
Additionally, in a recent Fandango survey, the film ranked as the most anticipated summer family film, ahead of Toy Story 4, Aladdin, and The Secret Life of Pets 2.
The original Lion King was the second-highest grossing film of 1994 with $312.9 million. After adjusting for 2019 ticket prices, that number jumps to over $680 million -- not including the 2011 re-release that scored $94.2 million domestic. Accounting for inflation, it's the second highest original run by any animated release, behind only Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (over $700 million).
In short, people love The Lion King. The animated movie won two Oscars, a Golden Globe, and two Grammys, and it has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie checks a lot of boxes and appeals to a very wide audience. The 2019 Lion King is the last family friendly movie until November, so it has ample room to stretch its legs and build up a nice total.
However, it seems inevitable that The Lion King will reign supreme from Pride Rock when it releases on July 19, 2019.