Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office: The Lion King Brings The July Heat With Record $185 Million

Let's just say Disney had a very good weekend.

by | July 21, 2019 | Comments

Last week the yearly box office fell behind the past four years with a margin of 9.1% down from the record-breaking year of 2018. Well, like Jurassic World before it, never count out the nostalgia of new parents and never count out the box office when it comes to big spectacles like The Lion KingIt just became the biggest July opener of all-time and this weekend’s top 10 represents one of the best July weekends in box office history.


The Lion King of the Crop: $185 Million Grubbed Up

(Photo by Disney)

Tracking services hit it right on the nose as Lion King hauled in $185 million. That is the 9th highest opening weekend in film history and the best ever in the month of July beating the 2011 record set by the $169.1 million of the final Harry Potter chapter. Disney now owns 12 of the top 13 openings of all-time with that pesky Jurassic World stuck right in the middle of their cash buffet. None of those 12 other films grossed less than $400 million and The Lion King is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Audiences appear to love it while critics are pretty split with a 55% on the Tomatometer. Even if they do have LARF (Live-Action-Reimagining-Fatigue) in a year that has already seen Dumbo (46%) and Aladdin (56%), these are the same critics who gave Jon Favreau’s CGI-enhanced remake of The Jungle Book a 94%. So it’s still all in the execution. But it will be left up to moviegoers across the world to determine whether it can make the $1.347 billion necessary to earn a spot in the all-time top 10. After three days of domestic release and 10 globally, The Lion King has grossed $531 million so far, the 7th best total of 2019.


The Record Has Fallen: Avengers: Endgame Beats Avatar

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

In 1975 it was Steven Spielberg and Jaws. Two years later it was George Lucas and Star Wars. 1982 comes along and Spielberg regains the throne with E.T.  In 1993 Spielberg replaces himself with Jurassic Park. The next phenomenon in 1997-98 was Titanic. Cameron then pulled a Spielberg and Avatar bested Titanic in 2009-10. Three directors have held the box office record for 44 years. This weekend two more joined the fray as Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Endgame passed Avatar as the highest grossing film in the world of all time. The film was $37 million away from the record when Endgame was re-issued into theaters with some additional material. The final numbers were not out this weekend when Kevin Feige made the announcement that there was a new no. 1 during Marvel’s panel at the San Diego Comic-Con Saturday night. As of Sunday, Avengers: Endgame has grossed an estimated $854.21 million domestic and $2.790 billion worldwide. When the final estimates come in on Monday, Avengers: Endgame will officially take its place in history.


Top 10 and Beyond: Far From Home Close To Record

Spider-Man: Far From Home
(Photo by © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel Studios/ Courtesy Everett Collection)

Spider-Man: Far From Home made $21 million over the weekend, and is estimated to be at $319.7 million overall. That’s $24 million ahead of the pace of Sam Raimi’s 2002 origin tale, which is still the only Spider-Man film to cross the $400 million line. Far From Home has grossed $889.5 million worldwide, over $9 million more than Spider-Man: Homecoming made in its entire run and less than $2 million behind Spider-Man 3 which is the highest-grossing Spidey film ever. Until Monday.

Toy Story 4 is at $374.3 million as of Sunday after a $13.4 million weekend. One full month into release. That is the 20th highest in history, just ahead of Captain Marvel’s $373.8 million. Disney’s Aladdin also just passed the 1994 Lion King for its spot on the all-time worldwide chart after this weekend’s $3.8 million weekend. It is now 40th all-time with $988 million with a billion dollars in its sights.

As for last week’s releases, Crawl looks like it will outgross Lake Placid’s 1999 haul of $31.7 million, suggesting a final haul around $35-$38 million. That along with a few international dollars will be enough to get the $13.5 million production into profit. The same cannot be said for Stuber which is actually on about the same track as Midsommar, both between $15.9 and $16.1 million after 10 days. Midsommar is up to $22.48 million in its third weekend and both are headed in the realm of $25 million each. Danny Boyle’s Yesterday could now be headed north of $70 million, after this weekend’s haul of $5.1 million.

Keeping an eye on what has potential to be the indie success story of the summer, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell was expanded into 35 theaters by A24 and grossed $1.17 million. That puts the film in league with The Kids Are All Right ($1.06 million / 38 theaters), The Favourite ($1.07 / 34), Boyhood ($1.17 / 34), and Lady Bird ($1.19 / 37).


This Time Last Year: Sequels….Here We Go Again!

(Photo by © Sony Pictures Releasing)

There was a close race for the top spot at the box office but Denzel Washington in The Equalizer 2 edged out Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again $36.01 to $34.95 million. Another sequel, Unfriended: Dark Web, barely made the top 10, making $3.65 million for a ninth-place finish. Even the race for the middle was decided by less than a million between Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($11.26 million), Skyscraper ($11.36 million), and Incredibles 2 ($11.89 million). The top 10 films grossed $157.37 million and averaged 67.4% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $245.28 million and averaged 69.3%. That total ranks as the third best top 10 weekend ever in July. It is behind only July 18-20, 2008 ($250.97 million) when The Dark Knight ruled and July 15-17, 2011 when the previous singular July record-holder (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2) helped charge the top 10 to $248.55 million.


On the Vine: The Return of Quentin Tarantino

(Photo by © Sony Pictures Releasing)
QT takes audiences to a temporal junction point of change in this country and the film industry with Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, going back 50 years to a time of moon landings, summers of love, and the Manson murders. It is currently at 92% on the Tomatometer, which is tied with the filmmaker’s highest-scored effort to date, 1994’s Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction.

The Full Top 10: Jul 19-21

  1. The Lion King (2019) 53% – $185.00 million ($185.00 million total)
  2. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) 90%$21.00 million ($319.65 million total)
  3. Toy Story 4 (2019) 97%$14.60 million ($375.53 million total)
  4. Crawl (2019) 81%$6.00 million ($23.83 million total)
  5. Yesterday (2019) 63%$5.10 million ($57.59 million total)
  6. Stuber (2019) 43%$4.00 million ($16.08 million total)
  7. Aladdin (2019) 57%$3.80 million ($340.04 million total)
  8. Annabelle Comes Home (2019) 65%$2.66 million ($22.48 million total)
  9. Midsommar (2019) 83%$1.59 million ($18.40 million total)
  10. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) 59%$1.53 million ($151.55 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

DC Comics supernatural what to watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Christmas FOX toy story 45 golden globes Cartoon Network spy thriller technology TruTV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina teaser Columbia Pictures elevated horror APB Schedule book aliens Winners Winter TV DC Universe Podcast Comedy Photos docudrama IFC Films Premiere Dates Women's History Month Spectrum Originals CBS cooking Trivia WarnerMedia adventure 2015 Marvel stand-up comedy zombie binge History SXSW 24 frames Epix Oscars richard e. Grant Cannes Pet Sematary American Society of Cinematographers TCA 2017 VH1 Election doctor who Disney streaming service Bravo Mary poppins SDCC Sundance Now TBS Mystery disaster Paramount HBO Max Music Shudder Amazon Hulu anthology adaptation Chernobyl Spring TV cars USA Network BBC discovery President Creative Arts Emmys harry potter Song of Ice and Fire Pop Rocky Lucasfilm Sony Pictures TV Comic Book ABC Family Fox News Awards New York Comic Con Musical Extras Shondaland Nominations movies Countdown spider-man National Geographic Martial Arts AMC Warner Bros. Walt Disney Pictures composers NYCC strong female leads TIFF Super Bowl psychological thriller Acorn TV Elton John cats Amazon Prime Video TCM sports TNT See It Skip It sitcom Crackle A&E Anna Paquin Rom-Com television FXX Holidays Heroines kids ITV Captain marvel Valentine's Day justice league cinemax Character Guide GLAAD miniseries Calendar BET X-Men CMT Trailer Film Festival biography Action social media politics robots vampires Fall TV YouTube Premium comic series based on movie GIFs comiccon IFC Toys Tarantino VICE Marathons theme song The Arrangement Apple romance GoT Musicals Esquire Starz historical drama Grammys ESPN Opinion PBS period drama 20th Century Fox 2017 Watching Series Certified Fresh blaxploitation Logo Brie Larson RT21 CBS All Access ratings Netflix serial killer Ellie Kemper Mindy Kaling Infographic Pride Month revenge Lifetime Awards Tour Teen E3 casting Ovation political drama Vudu jamie lee curtis Sci-Fi streaming cults PaleyFest Sneak Peek The Witch Pirates Writers Guild of America Mary Poppins Returns Syfy Interview Quiz Reality dramedy BBC America war 007 Mary Tyler Moore OWN festivals sequel Comics on TV RT History Superheroes talk show children's TV zero dark thirty Food Network USA Drama Trophy Talk game show Showtime The CW psycho Video Games Year in Review Sundance hist natural history boxoffice anime mockumentary NBC CNN green book Nat Geo Kids & Family El Rey DirecTV DC streaming service Cosplay SundanceTV TV Land 2019 spinoff Lionsgate Disney Country Black Mirror Britbox dc Spike true crime singing competition Rocketman crime thriller Summer award winner DGA LGBTQ police drama dceu zombies animated MCU Stephen King Thanksgiving Dark Horse Comics medical drama Box Office 2016 Western YouTube Red Universal Film nature unscripted TLC Polls and Games Comedy Central science fiction Tomatazos HBO tv talk Amazon Prime Superheroe Adult Swim CW Seed Best and Worst ABC Animation MTV Freeform 2018 Star Trek Masterpiece Fantasy Horror travel facebook transformers Disney Channel YA thriller ghosts First Look FX MSNBC Red Carpet LGBT crime drama Binge Guide San Diego Comic-Con Mudbound Family Paramount Network witnail TCA Ghostbusters dragons crossover Rock quibi finale 21st Century Fox Pixar Emmy Nominations Star Wars Biopics Set visit diversity E! space cops Reality Competition WGN Tumblr crime Nickelodeon Emmys mutant