‘The Lion King’ bites off $185 million debut, a July record

Walt Disney Studios / MGN
Walt Disney Studios / MGN(KALB)
Published: Jul. 21, 2019 at 12:20 PM MDT
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The Walt Disney Co. is ruling the box office again with the record-breaking debut of “The Lion King” this weekend.

The studio says Sunday that the photorealistic remake devoured an estimated $185 million in ticket sales from 4,725 North American locations. It’s a record for the month of July and PG-rated films, and the ninth-highest opening of all time.

Globally it’s already grossed $531 million. No other studio even dared to go up against “The Lion King” with a major release.

In its third weekend, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” fell to second place with $21 million. “Toy Story 4” took third with $14.6 million.

And with an additional $1.5 million from the weekend, “Avengers: Endgame” has surpassed “Avatar” as the biggest film of all time with $2.79 billion.

It is worth noting that the record-breaking totals listed above are not adjusted for inflation, something that is becoming more important to keep in mind as movie ticket prices skyrocket and records seemingly fall every other week. To compare: the average ticket price in 1997 when "Titanic" came out was $4.59, which would jump to $7.50 by 2009. The average ticket price today is slightly over $9.

According to Box Office Mojo, which keeps a running list of the top 300 adjusted movies of all time, when adjusted for ticket price inflation, "Avengers" falls to 16th domestically, one slot behind "Avengers."

(Adjusted worldwide numbers were not available at the time of this writing.)

"Titanic" is the only movie released in the last 35 years to crack the ranks of top five all-time when adjusted for inflation.

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