'The Lion King' was slammed by critics, but audiences didn't care

the lion king&quotThe Lion King&quot (2019)Disney

  • "The Lion King" broke a July box-office record despite poor reviews from critics.
  • The remake has a 54% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, but an 89% audience score and an A grade on Cinemascore, which tracks opening-night audience sentiment.
  • It has already made over $530 million worldwide, adding to Disney's box-office domination this year.
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Movie critics weren't pleased with Disney's "The Lion King" remake, but that didn't stop audiences from seeing and enjoying it.

The movie received a poor 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling it "morally bankrupt" and a "cinematic expression of the kind of toxic nostalgia that has infiltrated our national discourse."

But audiences gave the new "Lion King" an 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and it received an A grade from Cinemascore, which surveys viewers on a movie's opening night.

"The Lion King" earned $185 million in the US over the weekend, the biggest domestic July debut ever (before adjusting for inflation), beating 2011's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2." And it has already grossed over $530 million worldwide, $97 million of which has come from China, where it opened a week early.

It's the latest Disney remake of an animated classic to be a hit with audiences. "Aladdin," which opened in May, has made close to $1 billion globally, and 2017's "Beauty and the Beast" made over $1 billion. "Aladdin" also had a subpar reception from critics, and currently has a 56% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Lion King" is already the sixth highest grossing domestic release of 2019, and seventh worldwide. Four of the top five in both categories belong to Disney ("Avengers: Endgame," "Captain Marvel," "Aladdin," and "Toy Story 4"). The company is dominating like no other, and keeping the year's box office afloat nearly single handedly.

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