The (new) Lion King might have been met with a bit of a , but money speaks louder than reviews. Whether it was nostalgia, curiosity, the sheer magnetism of Beyoncé, or a combination of all of the above, audiences piled into cinemas for the remake like a wildebeest stampede, defying predictions (and a pretty squishy Rotten Tomatoes score) to set new box office records.
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While it’s technically counted () as part of Disney’s slate of “live-action remakes”, it’s definitely still an animated film, no matter how you slice it — meaning that it just edges out The Incredibles 2 for the biggest domestic opening weekend ever for an animated feature, as Pixar’s long-anticipated superhero sequel smash on its first weekend last year.
It’s also the best domestic opening for a Disney remake, and Disney’s biggest non-Marvel, non-Star Wars opening ever, as well.
Those numbers are definitely more impressive than the paltry Rotten Tomatoes score, which currently sits at a . Reviews praised its visuals and a handful of voice performances but were largely still bemused as to why this remake is a thing in the first place.
With Avengers: Endgame also clambering past Avatar’s long-standing record over the weekend to finally snatch the crown from James Cameron’s 2009 juggernaut, the weekend numbers meant no worries for Disney.