Since the first trailer arrived back in November, Disney's reimagining of The Lion King has been one of the most highly-anticipated movies of 2019. The trailer racked up a record number of views in its first day, pre-sale ticket numbers have been astounding, and all of the tracking has suggested a massive haul at the box office come opening weekend. However, that hype train seemed to take a hit last week after the world premiere was met with quite a few negative reviews from critics, giving The Lion King an overall rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Despite the disappointing reactions, it doesn't look like The Lion King is slowing down any time soon. In fact, the latest tracking numbers suggest that Disney's latest is still expected to be a massive draw at theaters this weekend.
According to Variety, The Lion King is currently eyeing a $150 million debut over the course of its opening weekend beginning Friday. However, some estimates are aiming even higher, suggesting that The Lion King could reach as high as $180 million.
Even on the lower end of that spectrum, The Lion King is going to have one of the biggest domestic opening weekends of 2019. Avengers: Endgame is basically untouchable with an all-time record of $357 million in its opening weekend. The second-highest opener belongs to Captain Marvel, which earned just over $153 million. That's well-within The Lion King's range. The third biggest weekend of the year goes to Toy Story 4 with nearly $121 million, so even if The Lion King slightly underperforms, it should land in the top three for the year.
No matter how you slice it, after this weekend, Disney will have the top four biggest opening weekends of 2019, with Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Toy Story 4, and The Lion King. Sony's Spider-Man: Far From Home trails the bunch (though it's still part of the MCU), followed by another Disney venture in Aladdin. The top two opening weekends that have nothing to do with the House of Mouse whatsoever are both R-rated ventures: Us and John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.
How much do you think The Lion King will make in its opening weekend? Let us know your prediction in the comments!
Disney's The Lion King arrives in theaters on July 19th.