Weekend Box Office: ‘The Lion King’ Roars Again

I sure didn’t foresee the weekend being dominated by a 3D re-release of a 17-year-old animated movie – especially one whose new 3d conversion is receiving a Diamond Edition Blu-ray release in just two weeks.

The Lion King‘ proved that it’s still an animated classic with a $29.3 million opening that more than doubled its closest competition’s weekend earnings. Disney gave the animated animal tale the 3D treatment while re-transferring the film. The newly remastered version will be available on Blu-ray in both 2D and 3D on October 4th.

Coming in at third place in its opening weekend was the Cannes award winner ‘Drive‘. Although set in present day, the artistic heist film applies an ’80s tone to its European style of filmmaking with quick moments of graphic violence. Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Pearlman and Christina Hendricks, ‘Drive’ is easily one of the best films of the year.

Opening in fourth place was ‘Straw Dogs‘, the remake of Sam Peckinpah’s 40-year-old sociopolitical commentary about a couple that moves to the backwards backwoods town where the wife grew up. The fish-out-of-water husband’s manliness is put to the test by his wife’s high school sweetheart. ‘Straw Dogs’ is a slow burn that explodes with an intense and graphic climax, while still projecting the same morals and themes as Peckinpah’s original. Too bad it only grossed $5 million.

The mom-centered Sarah Jessica Parker flick ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It‘ featured the weakest opening of the newly movies, coming in at sixth place with $4.5 million. Suffering from a horribly clichéd screenplay and a flavorless story, mark this up as yet another Weinstein Company flop.

With four wide openers next weekend, one of which has been touted as an Oscar contender, it’s more than likely that next week will feature a drastically different Top 5.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Lion King (in 3D)’ (Buena Vista) – $29,300,000

2. ‘Contagion’ (Warner Bros.) – $14,480,000

3. ‘Drive’ (FilmDistrict) – $11,019,000

4. ‘The Help’ (Buena Vista) – $6,438,000

5. ‘Straw Dogs’ (Screen Gems) – $5,000,000

6. ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ (Weinstein) – $4,502,000

7. ‘The Debt’ (Focus) – $2,945,897

8. ‘Warrior’ (Lionsgate) – $2,770,000

9. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ (Fox) – $2,625,000

10. ‘Colombiana’ (TriStar) – $2,300,000


  1. Drew

    The Lion King roars again, and we had the glorious return of Natalie’s nipples in ‘Attack of the Clones’. I feel like I traveled back in time this weekend.

  2. i had a feeling this would be #1 when a friend of mine told me that her husband wanted to see this and he is in his late 30’s.

    i wonder if simba blinks this time. 🙂

  3. Quite strange how much dough ‘The Lion King’ scored! I remember Luke Hickman blogging on two seperate occasions, saying he had little faith in the box office chances of said movie (because of the looming Blu-ray release). Apparently, a lot of people just decided to give the 17-year old flick another shot.

    I’d see it again in a heartbeat, if only it were released over here (and if only I were able to enjoy Digital 3D — which sadly, I’m not)

  4. This seems to be a good indication that Hollywood is just putting out crap now, when the highest rating movie is something that has been out on VHS and DVD for years. But I personally plan to go see it – I missed it the first time around at the theaters, and I am very interested in this new 3D technology Disney is playing with.

    And I thought that Simba always blinked! 🙂