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Disney plans to extend the box office reign with the "lion king"



LOS ANGELES-

Walt Disney
Co.

seems on the brink of staying at the top of the box-office food chain with "The Lion King".

A few months after Disney's "Avengers: Endgame" became the second most profitable movie in history, the studio has another chance at the top rungs of the box office when the computer-driven remake begins to be showcased on July 18th.

Analysts and wicket monitoring services hope the new "Lion King" will open with a domestic start north of $ 170 million, among the best of the year. However, industry executives also expect the film that he continues to sell tickets longer than usual, perceiving a very attractive blockbuster likely to appeal to the public in the coming weeks.

Double light

The remakes of Disney's animated classics paid off at the box office.

CA METAL IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA: IN GROSS, IN MILLIONS

CA METAL IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA: IN GROSS, IN MILLIONS

CA METAL IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA: IN GROSS, IN MILLIONS

USA AND CANADA

BOX-OFFICE GROSS,

IN MILLIONS

Disney is now by far the most successful studio in Hollywood. A year rich in franchises – from "Captain Marvel" to "Endgame" and "Toy Story 4" – has reported so far more than $ 2 billion in gross revenue for the company.

Studios in other studios often have the feeling of living in the shadow of Disney.

Disney currently holds a 35% market share of the national box office so far this year, despite the release of six new films. His closest competitor,

AT & T
Inc.

'S Warner Bros., accounts for almost 15%, while the other major studios –

Comcast
Corp.

Universal Pictures,

Sony
Corp.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and

Viacom
Inc.

Paramount Pictures – represents about 29% of the total sum.

The original "Lion King" is one of the most popular titles of the Disney Renaissance animated classics. In 1994, he raised $ 313 million in the United States and Canada, and re-releases in 2002 and 2011 added $ 109.8 million in total. When one adjusts the box office figures according to inflation, the "lion king" of origin is the number 20 on the national map of all time, according to Mojo Box Office.

A long-standing theatrical adaptation has kept the characters in the public eye and is the most profitable show in Broadway's history, with revenues from productions in the world exceeding $ 8 billion.

The new film tells the same story as the 1994 film of the young lion cub Simba who was fighting to rule the animal kingdom after the death of his father, Mufasa. But if the upcoming version includes sequences that reproduce the original backwards, it was produced with computer-generated effects that replace the old 2-D animation with photorealistic sequences that look like scenes from "Planet Earth" .

The critical response was more mixed than the major version of Disney. Although technology has been widely acclaimed, some film critics have said that the hyper-realistic style drained the movie of the emotional weight of the original movie.

Simba of "The Lion King" in 1994.

Photo:


Buena Vista Pictures / Everett Collection

Disney has piled up the new version with a cast of first-rate voices, including James Earl Jones, taking over his role as Mufasa from the original. Donald Glover and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter play in the lead roles Simba and Nala, performing Elton John's ballad "Can You Feel The Love Tonight", also of the original, with a new song by Ms. Knowles -Carter.

Disney's strategy of relaunching animated films from the 1990s with live shoots or digital recreation has yielded good results so far, including "The Beauty and the Beast" of 2017 and " Aladdin 'this year. Remakes of older titles such as "Pete's Dragon" and "Dumbo". fell flat with the public.

The new "Lion King" already exceeds the anticipated sales for "Aladdin" at Atom Tickets LLC, which sells tickets online for nearly 2,000 theaters. It has attracted audiences different from the typical Disney remake, said Matthew Bakal, executive chairman of the ticketing service.

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More ticket buyers plan to attend the "Lion King" without children than the typical Disney offer, he said, suggesting that the film would attract a larger demographic. Older audiences may be attracted to the film's photorealistic images; millennia can be attracted to the nostalgia factor; and many young children will want to see Simba and Nala for the first time.

"'Toy Story 4' and 'Aladdin' were really strong movies," Bakal said. "It's much stronger."

The size of the world-wide "Lion King" should probably be retained in China, which is currently the world's second largest film market. Given that these new reshuffles are the subject of a nostalgic call to moviegoers millennials, it is difficult to find an audience in a country where few cinemas were built during the first screening of the original film in the years 1990.

Write to Erich Schwartzel at erich.schwartzel@wsj.com

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