Disney is King. The Lion King is King. Rival studios have to be breathing a sigh of relief that Disney only has three more releases in 2019 with which to contend. Of course, there are only four months left in the year, so maybe that's not the sunniest news imaginable.
By Kim Hollis
July 28, 2019
As you would expect, The Lion King, Disney's CGI remake of their classic (I saw this movie at midnight on opening day back in 1994, so I'm also a classic) once again found itself at the top spot at the box office for the weekend. It earned $75.5 million, down a hefty 60 percent from last weekend, but I do believe we had some significant rush to see this one as the 1994 film was a favorite of many if not most people who were children in that era.
So far, The Lion King has earned a roaring $350.8 million domestically and has a worldwide tally of $962.7 million. It'll be Disney's fourth official billion dollar earner of 2019, followed pretty soon thereafter by Toy Story 4, which will become the fifth. Spider-Man: Far from Home also has more than a billion worldwide, and Disney can take some share of the credit for that one as well, even though it's distributed by Sony. They own Marvel, after all.
By the way, Disney set the record this weekend for worldwide box office gross in a calendar year - and they still have three movies yet to release (all big ones, too - Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Frozen 2, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker). Their current total of $7.67 billion passes the $7.61 billion they earned in 2016. They're currently 6 percent behind their domestic record, but with less than $150 million to go, they're going to hit that amount with just an opening weekend for one of the three remaining films.
Second place goes to Quentin Tarantino's new release Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, which is proving a bit divisive amongst fans (B Cinemascore), though critics think it's pretty great. A $40.4 million debut is good enough for best opening of Tarantino's career, though I wonder if it's going to struggle from here given some of the commentary I'm seeing from viewers. The budget was $90 million, which it should earn back pretty handily. This one's a Sony release, so I'm sure they're super excited to have two films in the top ten at the moment.
That second movie is Spider-Man: Far from Home, which continues to roll along with $12.2 million, a 43 percent decline from last weekend. The second Spidey film in the MCU now has $344.5 million domestically and $1.04 billion worldwide. By the way, Disney is selling a ton of Far from Home related merchandise in their stores, so they're every bit as thrilled by the results this one is seeing as Sony is.
Toy Story 4 takes fourth place with just under double digits, as its $9.9 million represents a 37 percent drop fram the previous frame. Woody and friends are now approaching the $400 million mark (and will hit it during the week), as the domestic total is currently $395.6 million. The worldwide total is $917.9 million, but I expect there are a few international venues yet to contribute some dollars to the mix for this Pixar project.
We round out the top five with Crawl, the alligator/weather horror film from Paramount. It earned $4 million, falling 34 percent from last weekend. Thus far, this Alexandre Aja-directed film has a domestic total of $31.5 million, handily beating its budget of around $13 million. It's bound to be a cult classic on home video.
Sixth and seventh go to a pair of nostalgia driven film. First up is Yesterday, from director Danny Boyle and writer Richard Curtis. The Beatles-infused musical took in another $3 million, a decline of 40 percent from last weekend. It's hung on decently and now has a total of $63.3 million domestically, plus almost $50 million more from international venues. Seventh place is the bigger box office story, though. Aladdin added yet another $2.8 million to its coffers, bringing its domestic total up to $345.9 million. Given the derisive joking about blue Will Smith early in the year, this is a HUGE win for Disney. Aladdin has also earned more than a billion dollars worldwide.
We round out the top ten with three films that all earned less than $2 million. Stuber, the Dave Bautista/Kumail Nanjiani comedy, earned $1.7 million and has a running total of $20.1 million. The horror flick Annabelle Comes Home is still hanging in there with $1.6 million and has scraped up $69.7 million. And finally, the Awkwafina film The Farewell took in a tidy $1.5 million from just 135 venues. It has tallied $3.7 million so far for A24.
The top 12 movies at the box office earned $154.2 million, which places it it nicely ahead of last year's total of $146.2 million, which was the weekend that saw the release of Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Next weekend should bring big box office numbers in the form of Hobbs & Shaw, as The Rock and Jason Statham get their very own Fast & Furious spinoff.