When the original was released, The Lion King became one of the most successful animated movies ever made. It was a near certainty that, when Disney began to find fresh success in remaking its animated classics, that The Lion King would be back on the big screen before too long. We’re still a few weeks away from the remake’s release, but it’s clear that the love for The Lion King has not faltered in the least, as the movie is already setting ticket pre-sale records.
Fandango reports that, in the first 24 hours that tickets were on sale, The Lion Kingoutpaced all of the other Disney adaptations the studio has released. It also outpaced the first 24 hours of tickets for the recent Toy Story 4, a movie which went on to make $120 million in its opening weekend.
The fact that The Lion King is pre-seliing more tickets than any other Disney adaptation is actually pretty big news. Disney’s 2017 adaptation of Beauty and the Beast ended up doing $1.2 billion in business and is the 15th highest grossing movie ever made, unadjusted for inflation. The Lion King is doing better with ticket sales right now than that movie did, which means we at the very least have the potential to see another billion dollar box office hit for Disney
It’s honestly not all that surprising. the original Lion King almost broke the billion dollar mark back in 1994. It was, at one time, the fourth highest grossing domestic movie ever. If you adjust box office numbers for inflation, the original Lion King is actually the 20th highest grossing movie ever domestically, well ahead of the Beauty and the Beast remake.
Fandango isn’t the only ticket selling website that’s seeing The Lion King set records. Atom Tickets reports that The Lion King is outpacing every other family movie this year, as well as most of Disney’s own product from the last couple years. It’s sold more tickets than Black Panther did at this point, which was another massive hit.
Perhaps most telling, The Lion King sold four times more tickets in the first 24 hours than the recent Aladdin remake sold, That move saw an opening weekend of over $90 million and has gone on to gross over $800 million globally, so The Lion King‘s opening weekend is looking to be massive, likely second only to Avengers: Endgame for the year.
From everything we’ve seen, fans of the original will be quite happy with the remake, it appears to largely leave the plot and structure untouched, as Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast did before it. It seems clear this is the recipe for box office success, change as little as possible, keep the songs.
There does appear to be at least one “new” thing in the upcoming Lion King remake, a recent soundtrack listing included one “To Be Announced” track. Theories include the possibility that Beyonce could have her own song in the movie, which would be an addition, as the character of Nala doesn’t have her own song in the animated movie.
This would be fitting with current trends, the recent Aladdin remake also gave the female lead her own song after the animated original failed to do so. Also, having a movie with Beyonce in it and not having her perform her own song seems like pure insanity. The only new song officially announced for the film is the Elton John penned “Never Too Late” that will play over the end credits. It’s possible Beynoce could actually sing the song in the movie itself, or there could be an entirely separate all new song we don’t know about yet.