Other than the odd misfire every once in a while, Disney tends to get its wishes granted at the box office and that has certainly been true with Aladdin. Disney’s latest live-action reimagining in a year full of them premiered over Memorial Day weekend and has enjoyed magical success both domestically and abroad. Now Guy Ritchie’s film has passed the original, beloved 1992 film upon which it is based.
Aladdin now sits at a whopping $604.9 million worldwide after a little over two weeks in release according to Box Office Mojo. That breaks down to $232.4 million domestic and $372.5 million international for the musical remake. That worldwide total is more than enough to pass the original 1992 film. That classic of the Disney Renaissance, starring Robin Williams, made $504 million worldwide over it entire box office lifetime.
It’s an impressive feat for the Guy Ritchie film because Disney’s 1992 Aladdin was a true force at the box office. Despite releasing the same year as other classics like Lethal Weapon 3, A Few Good Men, The Bodyguard and even the comic book movie Batman Returns, Aladdin was the Number 1 movie at the box office in 1992, both domestically and worldwide.
Aladdin (2019) has also now passed the $543.5 million worldwide that Disney’s 2015 live-action reimagining Cinderella made in its run. That makes it the fifth most successful of the live-action remakes on the worldwide charts, coming in behind Maleficent’s $758.5 million. All of this for a film that seemed to have a lot working against it in the run up to its release.
Remaking a beloved, nostalgic classic is always a tricky proposition and everything is under a microscope. For Aladdin (2019), the thing that caused the most handwringing was the look of Will Smith’s Genie. A big part of the love for the original Disney animated classic was the performance of the late, lamented Robin Williams. It was an impossible standard to live up to and it seemed like it might weigh the remake down.
But even mediocre reviews upon release couldn’t hold this magic carpet down and any fears that it would flop vanished over opening weekend. Audiences enjoyed it much more than critics and that is reflected in the film’s box office performance. So for this new Aladdin to surpass the original at the box office, it does seem to give it some validation.
To be fair, making more money in 2019 dollars isn’t quite the same thing. When adjusted for inflation the original Aladdin’s $232.4 million becomes over $472 million and that’s just domestic. The original film also cost $28 million in 1992 dollars, whereas the CGI spectacle-filled remake cost $183 million today. So it’s not exactly a 1 to 1 comparison, but what is clear is that this property still has plenty of magic left and with the new film still in theaters. We’ll just have to wait and see how high it can go.