Walt Disney Co. is proving to be king of the 2019 box office.
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The company scored big this weekend after “The Lion King” raked in $185 million following its debut in nearly 5,000 theaters in North America. The remake of the 1994 animated film beat out industry experts’ prediction of a $150 million opening. The film grossed over $531 million in 10 days since it first opened in theaters in China.
“The Lion King” also broke some other records. It's the ninth-biggest opening of all time, a July record (unseating "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"), and a PG-rating record (taking over from "The Incredibles 2").
The Walt Disney Co. is ruling the box office again with the record-breaking debut of “The Lion King” this weekend. (AP)
The star-studded voice cast, which included Beyonce and Donald Glover, may have given Jon Favreau’s live-action film a boost among fans despite receiving mix reviews.
"We've had a spectacular run this weekend," said Cathleen Taff, Disney's president of distribution. "We really did know we had something special with ('The Lion King') given its popularity with fans of all ages."
Disney also officially surpassed another all-time record with “Avengers: Endgame.” The Marvel film added $1.5 million globally, giving it enough to surpass “Avatar” to become the highest-grossing film of all time.
"Avatar" grossed $2.789 billion worldwide, and "Avengers: Endgame" is currently at $2.79 billion. The amount does not account for inflation.
"'Endgame' finally did it," Taff said. "It's a huge achievement."
"You have to shout-out to Mr. James Cameron, who held that title for a long time," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. "If you adjust for inflation, he still holds the title, and he'll probably get the title again as soon as he puts out another movie. But for right now ... 'Avengers: Endgame' is the biggest film of all time."
Disney now holds five of the top six spots for the year.
“’Spider-Man: Far From Home” slipped to the second spot in its third weekend with $21 million domestically. “Toy Story 4” held on to the No. 3 spot five weeks after its debut by grossing $14.6 million.
“Aladdin,” which has made $989 million globally, also held on in the seventh place with $3.8 million this weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.