Box Office Prognosis: Seriously, People Love The Lion King!

Did anyone really see this coming?  For the second week in a row, The Lion King has conquered the box office.  And I still don’t have the foggiest idea why.  While there’s plenty of reasons to see it (we even wrote a list about it!), I didn’t think audiences WOULD.  I mean, in this economy, are you really going  to spend $10 a pop for a movie you can just watch in the comfort of your own home?  While I guess America did, because Lion King 3D once again came in first place for the second time in a row, grossing an estimated $22.1 million.  That’s a mere 27% decrease from last week, boosting the film’s life time total to a huge $390.2 million.

I can’t believe the life Lion King has on the big screen.  Already it’s one of the highest grossing rereleases ever, accumulating about $61.7 million in sales.  I can’t even blame a dump month for the movie’s success because, unlike most Septembers of years past, this month has brought us some freaking great films.  Lion King probably has one week left in theaters, if that (Disney originally wanted it to be a 2 week event but with numbers like this, why would you possibly want to take it out of theaters?). And with the Blu-Ray out October 4, don’t expect it’s success to last much longer.  Then again, box office pundits probably said the same thing in 1994, so what the he’ll do I know?

The Lion King 3D

Still, you have to wonder if other studios (or even Disney itself) are taking note of The Lion King 3D’s success.  Could 3D rereleases be the next hot thing for Hollywood, ala remakes and reboots?  While the case can be made that The Lion King is a very special film that reaches are corners of the market, I’m curious to see what studios take away from this.  In fact, this may be a good topic for some opinion based column that hits every Friday.  But oh, where will find one of those?

Switching gears, Moneyball and Dolphin Tale are neck and neck for second place.  While estimates currently have Moneyball at the top, that could change at any moments.  Until we get actual grosses, it’s anyone game.  Moneyball and Dolphin Tale grossed an estimated $20.6 million and $20.26 million respectively, with a mere gap of $340,000.  See what I meant when I said “neck and neck?” Anywho, both sums are great for both films, especially Moneyball.  It’s $20.6 million take was enough to nab it the best opening for q baseball movie ever.  Not to shabby, Mr. Pitt.  Not to shabby indeed.


Sitting at the bottom of the new release totem pole were two action movies: Taylor Lautner’s Abduction and Jason Statham’s Killer Elite (its okay if you got those two actors confused; it’s happened to the best of us).  Lautner’s Abduction grossed a low $11.2 million, which is kind of a miracle considering it’s abysmal Rotten Tomatoes score (a pathetic 3%) and the general lack of interests from audiences.  In fact, the case could be made that only Twilight fans showed up to see Abduction.  But boy, did they come (take that as you will…).  Lionsgate reports that a whopping  68% of the audience was female, an oddity for an action film of this type.  I guess shirtless Taylor Lautner is the female equivalent of a siren call; no matter how horrible you know it will be, you just can’t help approaching it.

Killer Elite barreled out at #5 this week which, for a Jason Statham film…is about on par.  While it’s a little lower than film’s like Death Race or The Mechanic, its $9.5 million dollar take shouldn’t come to a surprise to very many.  Even though Robert De Niro and Clive Owen were there to class up the joint a bit, this film just looked like ANOTHER Jason Statham action pick.  Seriously, I generally like Jason Statham, but almost all the film’s he headlines look exactly the same.  And I don’t know why studios keep thinking he’s an A-list actor.  I hate to say it, but I can see Statham going direct to DVD a few years from now.  Straight to the Steven Segal bargain bin with you, pal.

Ryan Gosling

Finally, we’ll end this week’s Box Office Prognosis with a look at last week’s openings, which all kind of plummeted their second week out.  The smallest disaster of the three was Drive, which dropped to seventh place in its second week.  Considering its low reception amongst the mainstream, the $5.7 million take wasn’t that bad.  And considering the $15 million dollar budget (which, I would like to brag, I guessed last week), its $21 million dollar gross is pretty good.  The other two disasters can’t say the same.  Straw Dogs and I Don’t Know How She Does It finished up the Top 10, with about $2 million each.  But in all honesty, is anyone really surprised about the former?

The chart:

1. The Lion King 3D—$22,130,000
2. Moneyball—$20,600,000
3. Dolphin Tale—$20,260,000
4. Abduction—$11,200,000
5. Killer Elite—$9,500,000
6. Contagion—$8,565,000
7. Drive—$5,771,000
8. The Help—$4,400,000
9. Straw Dogs—$2,100,000
10. I Don’t Know How She Does It—$2,053,000

Well, that does it for this week.  Check back later today for the actual grosses.  Until then, have fun at the box office!

Source: Box Office Mojo