‘The Lion King’ (Photo credit: Disney).
It’s been a memorable weekend for the Walt Disney Co. as The Lion King roared, Toy Story 4 topped $800 million worldwide and Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame skipped past Avatar to rank as the biggest film of all time globally.
In Australia the top 20 titles harvested $30 million, up 39 per cent on the previous weekend, according to Numero. Among the other new releases, Madman Entertainment’s Apollo 11, Forum Films’ Ardaas Karaan and Universal’s The White Crow made useful contributions.
Meanwhile Richard Lowenstein’s Mystify: Michael Hutchence has raked in $893,000 for Madman after collecting $83,000 in its third outing, now on 55 screens, with 16 new regional locations booked for this Thursday.
Directed by Jon Favreau, the live action/CGI remake of The Lion King rang up $20.5 million at the weekend and $24.7 million on 930 screens since the Wednesday opening. “Audiences clearly decided the average reviews didn’t matter and turned up in abundant numbers to see the Disney re-boot,” Wallis Cinemas programming manager Sasha Close tells IF.
The musical action adventure voiced by Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, James Earl Jones, John Kani and Alfre Woodard captured $191.8 million in the US.
That’s a record for July and for a PG-rated film release and the biggest debut ever for a Walt Disney Studios release outside of Marvel and Lucasfilm, surpassing Incredibles 2 and Beauty and the Beast. The international tally is $351.8 million, led by China’s $97.5 million in 10 days, and the global haul is $543.6 million.
Disney’s re-release of Avengers: Endgame paid off as the Russo brothers’ superhero adventure ascended to $2.79 billion, overtaking Avatar. The Australian total is $85.2 million, trailing Avatar’s $115.6 million and Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ $94 million.
Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home vaulted to $33.2 million after scoring $2.5 million in its third orbit. The Jon Watts-directed sequel starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Aussies Remy Hii and Angourie Rice has amassed $970.7 million worldwide: $319.6 million domestic and $651.1 million in the rest of the world, highlighted by China’s $201.1 million.
Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4 drew $2 million in its fifth outing, hoisting the total to $38.4 million. Directed by Josh Cooley, the comedy voiced by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Tony Hale, Annie Potts, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Keanu Reeves has racked up $859.5 million, with Germany to come.
Universal/Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 added $925,000 in its fifth to reach $17.5 million. Skewing much younger than the original, the animated adventure comedy directed by Chris Renaud and co-directed by Jonathan del Val has clocked a mediocre $151.5 million in the US and $318.5 million worldwide.
Universal/Working Title’s Yesterday moved up to $11.2 million after mustering $839,000 in its fourth, outshining the US where Danny Boyle’s fantasy romantic comedy musical has taken $57.6 million.
Directed by Todd Douglas Miller, the Apollo 11 feature doc, which draws on rarely seen footage of man’s first landing on the moon 50 years ago, pocketed $414,000 on 110 screens and $542,000 including previews.
Disney’s Aladdin is approaching the $1 billion milestone worldwide, with $988.8 million in the till. Here, the Guy Ritchie-directed musical fantasy stands at $34.6 million after making $317,000 in its ninth.
Fast losing steam, New Line/Warner Bros’ Annabelle Comes Home garnered $280,000 in its fourth, advancing to $5.5 million. Pro-rata, that’s tracking below the $66.5 million domestic take of the Gary Dauberman-directed horror thriller.
Punjabi-language drama Ardaas Karaan, co-written and directed by Gippy Grewal and revolving around three elderly men who have to deal with the changing times and conflicts among their family members, snared $278,000 on 31 screens.
After a lousy opening Crawl, the Alexandre Aja-directed horror movie starring Kaya Scodelario, plunged by 58 per cent to $253,000, generating $1 million to date for Paramount.
Director Ralph Fiennes’ The White Crow, a 1960s-set drama based on the true story of Rudolf Nureyev and his friendship with young Parisienne Clara Saint, which arouses the interest of the KGB, fetched $206,000 on 59 screens and $261,000 with previews.
Moviegoers in Melbourne who weren’t into The Lion King flocked to Cinema Nova where Apollo 11 and holdovers Parasite, Mystify: Michael Hutchence, Booksmart, Never Look Away, Rocketman and Yesterday traded strongly.
“With no major wide releases scheduled for the coming fortnight due to The Lion King’s anticipated market dominance, expect those films with strong word of mouth to bounce back once audiences have ticked the African-set adventure off their ‘must see’ list,” says Nova GM Kristian Connelly.