Disney’s Live-Action Aladdin Outgrosses the Animated Original

Disney’s live-action Aladdin has flown its magic carpet to $604 million worldwide since its May 24 release, outgrossing the animated original, which earned an adjusted $504 million in 1992.

The animated Aladdin, starring Scott Weinger as the titular street rat and Robin Williams as blue-skinned wish granter Genie, was the number one highest-grossing film of 1992, beating out Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Batman Returns, which ranked second and third, respectively.

It was at one time the only animated film to gross $200 million domestically, and once held the biggest performance for an animated film worldwide until it was unseated by Disney’s own The Lion King in 1994.

The Guy Ritchie-directed Aladdin, starring Will Smith, Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott, is thriving in a summer movie season where Illumination’s animated Secret Life of Pets 2 opened at #1 over latest X-Men entry Dark Phoenix, expected to lose $100 million after opening with a franchise worst of $33 million.

Aladdin, which opened at #1 May 24, will add another $24.5m for a domestic haul of $232m. It’s another big hit for Disney, who holds the top three highest-grossing spots at the 2019 box office with Avengers: Endgame ($818m domestic, $2.7b worldwide) and Captain Marvel ($426m domestic, $1.12b worldwide).

Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn — whose stewardship of the studio has resulted in more than a dozen one billion-plus grossers since his 2012 hiring — has placed huge bets but takes great care in mining Disney’s library of beloved animated classics for new life on the big screen.

“Alan called me into his office one day and said, ‘Here’s the thing. It’s Disney’s Cinderella,’” Disney president of production Sean Bailey told Variety in 2016 of the 2015 film, a remake of Walt Disney’s 1950 animated classic.

“‘It needs to be the definitive Cinderella for generations to come, so if you need to spend a little more, spend it, to make sure it’s one for the time capsule.’”

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The newest Aladdin cost Disney a reported $183 million. The studio similarly spared no expense on Jon Favreau’s The Lion King, a re-imagining made possible through groundbreaking technological advances.

That film was voted most anticipated summer family film — topping both Aladdin and Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4, out June 21 — and is projected to win the biggest opening weekend for a Disney remake, dethroning Beauty and the Beast’s $174 million.