It’s looking like Walt Disney Studios’ remake of 1994’s The Lion King is going to have a very good opening weekend. The latest tracking numbers for the film predict it will earn more than $150 million at the box office. You may be amazed at numbers like that, but what really should astonish you is even if The Lion King ends up bombing, the studio will still dominate at the box office this year. It seems no other studio comes close to the hit-making magic of Disney.
If you look at the box office charts for this year, you’ll see Disney was behind four out of the five top films at the domestic box office. So far, Avengers: Endgame, which was produced by Disney in partnership with Marvel Studios, sits at the top. Captain Marvel, another Disney/Marvel film is next. Toy Story 4 and Aladdin hold the number three and four spots. Another studio finally appears at number five with Sony’s Spider-Man: Far from Home. The results don’t change much when worldwide grosses are taken into consideration; the same five movies make the top five, but Spider-Man takes the fourth spot, bumping Toy Story 4 to fifth.
Disney’s studio market share is at 35.3 percent. The next closest studio is Warner Brothers at 14.7 percent and Universal at 13.7 percent. Disney’s percentage is sure to jump following the release of The Lion King. What studios can compete with that? It looks like only Spider-Man can catch some of those box-office receipts in his web.
The Lion King is the third remake of an animated Disney feature released this year. We’ve had Dumbo, which some might consider a failure, as it resides at number 12 on the yearly box office charts. Then, at the end of May, Aladdin was released to middling reviews, although the film has managed to remain in the top five films every week until this past weekend. Anyone who thought that was a financial failure after its first weekend was proved wrong.
Disney also has a few more films that will bring in audiences later this year. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil will bring Angelina Jolie back as Maleficent in October. More sequels will hit theaters when Frozen 2 is released in November and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in December.
This could be a year for the record books for Disney. As of the end of May, the studio had already earned over $4 billion. At this rate, Disney could possibly make more than $9 billion this year at the global box office. With such a head start, it’s doubtful any other studio can come close.