Despite lukewarm critics' reviews, audiences turned out in droves for "The Lion King." Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the beloved 1994 classic collected a massive $185 million during its first three days of release in North America.

It was the best-ever domestic launch for a PG film and set a new record for July. It's also the second-best domestic debut of the year behind "Avengers: Endgame" ($357 million).

Overseas, "The Lion King" took in $269 million for a global start of $433 million. The movie launched in China last weekend and has since earned $98 million, bringing its worldwide haul to $531 million.

Audiences gave it an "A" CinemaScore and an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, much higher than the critics' RT score of 54%.

"The Lion King" remake also had the strongest debut of Disney's live-action remakes, easily besting "Beauty and the Beast"  ($174 million), "Alice in Wonderland" ($116 million) and "The Jungle Book” (also directed by Favreau) which debuted with $103 million. In May, "Aladdin" opened with $91.5 million and is nearing the $1 billion mark globally. Tim Burton’s "Dumbo," however, had a disappointing bow of $45 million earlier this year.

Marvel Studios

Meanwhile, "Avengers: Endgame" crossed $2.7892 billion at the global box office, officially dethroning the 10-year record of James Cameron’s "Avatar."


A24 expanded "The Farewell" to 35 locations in its second weekend, generating $1.17 million for 11th place. The Lulu Wang drama starring Awkwafina debuts nationwide on August 2. Its per-screen average was $33,473, just behind "The Lion King's" average of $39,153.


In honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing,  documentary "Apollo 11" returned to theaters, earning $75,000 from 107 venues. With $9 million in North America, it’s now the highest grossing non-fiction film of 2019. Neon has the three biggest docs of the year so far with the Aretha Franklin film "Amazing Grace" ($4.5 million) and "The Biggest Little Farm” ($4 million).

Here are the top 10 estimates for July 19-21, 2019

1. "The Lion King" (2019), $185,000,000
2. "Spider-Man: Far From Home," $21,000,000
3 . "Toy Story 4," $14,600,000
4. "Crawl," $6,000,000
5. "Yesterday," $5,100,000
6. "Stuber," $4,000,000
7. "Aladdin" (2019), $3,800,000
8. "Annabelle Comes Home," $2,660,000
9. "Midsommar," $1,599,155
10. "The Secret Life of Pets 2," 1,530,000

[Via Variety]