ENTERTAINMENT

The Lion King earns prideful $78.5 million on opening day

The Lion King earns prideful $78.5 million on opening day

Disney’s The Lion King has stampeded the North American box office.

Jon Favreau’s photorealistic remake of the beloved 1994 animated classic earned a prideful $78.5 million in domestic ticket sales Friday, notching the 10th best opening-day gross of all time (as well as an overwhelmingly positive A CinemaScore from audiences) in the process.

The film, which features an all-star voice cast including Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Alfre Woodard, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, and returning Mufasa actor James Earl Jones (who also played the part in the original film), is expected to finish the weekend with approximately $175 million in earnings from the United States and Canada. If that projection holds true, the film would land at No. 11 on the all-time opening weekend chart.

Globally, the film bagged $192 million through Friday, with $111 million from foreign territories. The haul was aided by a massive $81 million take in China, $11.2 million in France, and $8.9 million in Australia. The film stands to gross, even more, when it opens in Japan, Italy, and Hong Kong later this year.

On the all-time single-day chart, The Lion King‘s gross edges last year’s Oscar juggernaut Black Panther out of the top 10, grossing roughly $2.5 million more than the Marvel blockbuster’s $75.9 million start at the top of 2018. April’s Avengers: Endgame‘s titanic $157.5 million 24-hour earning holds the domestic opening record. With The Lion King‘s ascension into the chart, Disney now occupies seven slots on the ranking, including four Marvel titles and two Star Wars franchise entries.

Check back on EW.com Sunday for a full weekend box office report.

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