‘The Lion King’ Leaping to $185 Million North American Debut

  • Variety
Disney’s “The Lion King” is heading for a dominant $185 million opening weekend in North America, early estimates showed Friday.

Should that number hold, “The Lion King” will record the second-best opening of 2019 — and give the sagging domestic box office a badly needed boost. “The Lion King” would replace “Incredibles 2,” which launched last year with $182.7 million, as the ninth biggest North American launch of all time.

The film appears to be outperforming pre-sale forecasts, which had been in the $150 million to $180 million range in a record 4,725 domestic locations. The tentpole took in $23 million in Thursday night previews — the biggest preview number since Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” set the record on April 25 with $60 million and went on to gross an astounding $357 million on its opening weekend.

The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau, is a photo-realistic remake of Disney’s classic 1994 animated hit. The story is centered on a
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