Film News: ‘The Lion King 3D’ Wins Box-Office Crown

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CHICAGO – Somebody better get Doc Brown on the phone because I think we have gone back to 1994. For the first time in 17 years, “The Lion King” is the title that won the weekend box office. The new release, which, of course, must be in 3D, raked in enough dough to beat out last week’s winner “Contagion” as well as the new releases “Drive,” “Straw Dogs” and “I Don’t Know How She Does It”.

“The Lion King 3D,” which’s Adam Fendelman labeled “a manipulative exploitation to bring paying parents back with their kids merely through the sexiness of today’s 3D fad” in his 3-out-of-5 review, earned a gross of $29.3 million at this weekend’s box office. The total was more than double the amount the No. 2 film (“Contagion”) made.

The classic Disney animated film won the box office during the weekends of June 24 to 26, 1994 and July 1 to 4, 1994 in its original, non-3D format. The original grossed more than $817 million worldwide in its first release.

In other box office news, “Contagion” finished this weekend at No. 2 with $14.5 million. The total was enough to beat the most anticipated new release, “Drive,” by more than $3 million. “Drive,” which totaled $11 million, likely lost some box-office earnings from the “R” rating that restricted teens from seeing the film. The film was advertised as a thrilling driving/heist film, which is a genre that has done well with the young teenage group (namely “PG-13” films such as “The Fast and the Furious” and “The Transporter”).

The other two new releases this weekend, “Straw Dogs” and “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” finished in fifth and sixth behind the three previously mentioned films as well as the book-to-movie drama “The Help”. “Straw Dogs” finished with $5 million and “I Don’t Know How She Does It” grossed $4.5 million.

Only time will tell if the rerelease of “The Lion King” in 3D can hold the crown next weekend when it goes up against Brad Pitt’s “Moneyball,” Taylor Lautner’s “Abduction” and Gerard Butler’s “Machine Gun Preacher”. Having no new kid film releases, “The Lion King 3D” may just have what it takes to top back-to-back weekends for the second time in the film’s history.

1. The Lion King 3D — $29.3 million — new
2. Contagion — $14.5 million – down 35% — $44.2 million total
3. Drive — $11 million — new
4. The Help — $6.4 million – down 28% — $147.4 million total
5. Straw Dogs — $5 million — new
6. I Don’t Know How She Does It — $4.5 million — new
7. The Debt — $3 million – down 38% — $26.5 million total
8. Warrior — $2.8 million – down 47% — $9.9 million total
9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes — $2.6 million – down 33% — $171.6 million total
10. Colombiana — $2.3 million – down 42% — $33.3 million total staff writer Tim Martens

Staff Writer

Anonymous's picture

Just a FYI for your readers,

Just a FYI for your readers, Machine Gun Preacher is having a platform release and it will only be in 4 theaters (New York & LA) on Sept. 23rd and it will then expand on Sept. 30th to another 20 locations (Chicago is one of the locations). I understand it will expand wider during it’s 3rd week of release. So it will definitely not be competition with the Lion King for that crown next weekend.

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