'The Lion King' remake is being trashed by critics, but all signs indicate it will be a smash hit for Disney at the box office
- Disney's "The Lion King" remake has a poor 59% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, but it will likely still be a box-office hit when it opens in the US next weekend.
- Fandango announced last month that the movie was outpacing "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast" in presales, and was projected to be the second-biggest preseller of the year so far, behind "Avengers: Endgame."
- The movie already earned $13 million over its opening day in China on Friday.
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Disney's upcoming remake of "The Lion King" is not feeling the love from critics, but that won't stop it from driving audiences to the theater.
The movie, a "live-action" retelling of the 1994 animated classic from "Iron Man" and "The Jungle Book" director Jon Favreau, has a 59% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.Indiewire called it "a well-rendered but creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail." AV Club called it "joyless, artless, and maybe soulless."
Business Insider's own Jason Guerrasio wrote that the movie is a "game-changing technological feat," but that's also it's biggest flaw, and comes at the expense of the story.
But "The Lion King" is still expected to be a box-office hit when it opens next weekend in the US.
"Aladdin," another recent Disney remake, has made over $900 million worldwide despite its 57% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. It earned $117 million domestically in its four-day Memorial Day opening weekend.
"The Lion King" is already outpacing "Aladdin" in ticket sales in the US, as well as 2017's "Beauty and the Beast." Movie-ticket service Fandango announced last month that "The Lion King" had the biggest first-day presales of any traditional Disney movie, not counting Marvel or "Star Wars." Fandango said "The Lion King" was pacing to be the year's second-biggest preseller so far, following "Avengers: Endgame.""Beauty and the Beast" made $175 million in its opening weekend in the US and ultimately grossed over $1 billion worldwide.
"The Lion King" opened early in China on Friday, and earned $13.4 million on its first day in early estimates, with more to come. Chinese movie-ticket service Maoyan is projecting the movie to ultimately make over $170 million in the region, according to Variety, which would make it the highest-grossing Disney remake in China ever.
Disney is the only studio that seems immune to this year's theatrical struggles, and has grossed over 40% of the domestic box office so far.