After two weekends swinging high atop the summer box office, Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home finally ceded the crown to Disney’s The Lion King, which enjoyed the biggest opening weekend ever in July. In recognition of this, Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts found the perfect image for the box office battle between the Lion and the Spider. Check it out:
Clearly this isn’t Spidey’s first rodeo. He’s tangled with the king of the jungle before, albeit in the pages of comics and not in the realm of massive and expensive summer tentpoles. Whether in comics or at the box office, lion’s are not easy to handle. Spider-Man riding a lion is the perfect response to The Lion King unseating Far From Home at the box office and the two films battling for moviegoer's hard-earned dollars.
This image from Jon Watts’ Instagram is so perfect that I really wonder if the director is just so immersed in Spider-Man’s extensive history that he knew this panel existed, and, whether he knew about it or not, how long it took him to find it. Regardless, it is a great way for Jon Watts to graciously congratulate fellow MCU director Jon Favreau on the hugely successful opening weekend of The Lion King.
Yet, while the image depicts Spider-Man fighting a lion and The Lion King and Spider-Man: Far From Home are both vying for the audience’s dollar at theaters, this box office battle is one where both combatants are already winners. Far From Home opened to over $185 million over the long 6-day Independence Day holiday. It is now nearing $1 billion and stands as the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie ever.
The Lion King also opened to $185 million, but did it in only 3 days. The remake of the 1994 Disney animated classic has now made $531 million worldwide. The two films didn’t open on the same weekend, although that would have been quite the interesting battle, but there has obviously been plenty of interest and money to go around to make both Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Lion King huge successes.
While on the surface, Jon Watts’ post is just an acknowledgement and congratulations for The Lion King, many users on Instagram couldn’t help but wonder if the panel was also a reference to the next Spider-Man film. Although I couldn’t figure out the exact issue that this panel comes from, many have taken it as one that involves Kraven the Hunter.
The Spider-Man villain and member of the Sinister Six is known for his lion’s head vest and for having a pet lion that he can command to attack his foes. Kraven is a fan favorite many would want to see in the MCU and Jon Watts himself has mentioned loving Kraven. This is probably reading too much into it, but as Spidey says in the panel above, “there’s always a first time,” so maybe the Web-Slinger will face off with Kraven for the first time on the big screen in the eventual sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home.
For now, Spider-Man will be dealing with another lion as Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Lion King continue their already impressive runs.
Both films are now playing. Check out our premiere guide to see what’s headed to theaters the rest of this year and for all the latest movie news, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.