Box office update: 'The Lion King 3D' roars into top spot with $8.8 million on Friday


Remember that incredibly groundbreaking, culturally defining post I wrote earlier this week about moviegoers not liking crocodiles? Well, that same mentality doesn’t apply to lions — especially not cute, animated Disney lions. Those are box-office gold.

The Lion King 3D trounced all expectations and debuted to a stunning $8.8 million on Friday. If the re-released picture performs similarly to Disney’s 2009 Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D re-release (which started with $3.3 million on Friday but earned $12.5 million over the full Friday-to-Sunday period), it will easily break the $30 million plateau by the frame’s end, becoming just the fifth September release in box-office history to do so.

Contagion, now in its sophomore frame, came in second place with a strong $4.6 million, a drop of just 42 percent from last Friday. The disease thriller seems to be overcoming its tepid “B-” CinemaScore grade, and it could reach about $14.5 million this weekend.

Drive did the best of the true newcomers with $4 million on Friday, though a third-place start isn’t breaking any speed limits. The well-reviewed Ryan Gosling thriller may finish the weekend with $11-12 million. Straw Dogs started in fourth place with $2 million, and is heading towards $5.5 million over three days. The Help‘s $1.9 million Friday was close behind. In sixth, Sarah Jessica Parker’s latest rom-com I Don’t Know How She Does It stumbled out of the gate with a weak $1.6 million on the way to a likely $4.5 million weekend.

1. The Lion King 3D — $8.8 mil
2. Contagion — $4.6 mil
3. Drive — $4.0 mil
4. Straw Dogs — $2.0 mil
5. The Help — $1.9 mil
6. I Don’t Know Who She Does It — $1.6 mil

Check back tomorrow for the full box office report, and for up-to-the-minute box office updates, follow me on Twitter @BoxOfficeJunkie!

Read more:
Box office preview: ‘The Lion King 3D’ hopes to reign over ‘Contagion,’ ‘Drive,’ and ‘Straw Dogs’

Comments (120 total) Add your comment
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  • Simon

    Saw Drive last night and loved it, but I think the majority of moviegoers will have mixed reactions to it.

    • sorry

      The Warrior is the better movie

      • Yeah

        You mean Warrior? -_-

      • c

        thw whole Warrior thing was so last week, Plus Gus did it better!

      • GUS

        I would like to aploligize to the true moviegoers that posted on this message board last week about Warrior, I left a series of sarcastic comments concerning the film, to parody the messages left by obvious PR personal from Lionsgate, these messages concerning it’s oscar chances and so on wee being posted three weeks before the films release and every wekk there after, and I found them to be insulting, so I took it the next overboard level!..the Film itself was a very entertaing film, not the best of the year not the worst, it got some decent reviews(as did Contagion), but did not merit all the hyperbole directed at it!

      • Tom

        I saw this in the movie theatre originally. I saw this on DVD. I saw this in stage form at Pantagious Theater Production in Hollywood for 80 dollars a ticket. I’m bored of the Lion King. My kids threatened to go on strike and stop listening to me if I made them have anything to do with the Lion King again. You need some FRESH concepts, movies, ideas. etc.

      • tang2

        I hope that Drive’s Ron Perlman only does theatrically released films from now on. He is an underrated actor and shouldn’t be doing straight to DVD films.BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a businessman !they met via Millionaireloving.C óM is the largest and best club for rich people and their admirers to chat online. …You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

    • Korri

      Drive was great, but NOT what we were expecting AT ALL. I had to watch the majority of the movie through my fingers, but it was so good, my friends and I were talking about it all night.

      • punch drunk fool

        I can’t wait to see it I’m seeing tonight with friends I’m effing pumped haha ahhh RYAN GOSLING!!

      • Merv the Perv

        Does Ryan take off his shirt in this movie too?

      • LOL

        Does he take his pants off?

      • Tom

        Lion King = That movie that has been over sold to the public for the last 10 years.

      • Korri

        in fact later that night when I had sex with my husband, we were still talking about it, even as he was taking me from behind, funny thing is though he kept calling me Ryan!

      • q

        that last comment was so funny I almost sharted myself!

    • LMAO

      “I Don’t Know How She Does It” is a documentary about Michele Bachmann. It examines how she’s able to breathe.

    • Dort

      I am stupid

  • Miller

    The voluptuous, sexy and talented Christina Hendricks is in two new movies this week – ‘Drive’ and ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’. I hope she only does leading roles from now on. She deserves better than to play second fiddle to Carey Mulligan and Sarah Jessica Parker.

    • burp

      guess she needs to get on her Knees more, that is how Darren Criss got his job on “Glee”

    • LMAO

      Sarah Jessica Parker will play the horse in the remake of The Horse Whisperer. ScarJo’s nekkid rump will play the part of ScarJo.

    • Tom

      Sarah Jessica Parker was the original horse. What are you talking about? ha ha ha

  • Danila

    I would have liked to see Stay Cool get a nationwide release. It has an interesting cast with stars who should be doing more mainstream movies – Winona Ryder, Sean Astin, Hilary Duff, Josh Holloway, Jon Cryer, Chevy Chase.

    • c

      the film was done in 2009, not a good sign for “Stay Cool” it is lucky it is getting any release st all!

  • Allen


    • Tom

      I’m so not excited. I know.

  • nicole

    The lion is king again

    • Tom

      The King is a Lion in 3D Again. Part Five.

  • Andrew

    This is why Disney should not have postponed the 3D re-release of “Beauty and the Beast.” They could’ve made money from it. Although I was glad to see the film in theaters for its two night Hi-Def sing-a-long edition I would’ve loved to have seen it in 3-D.

    • Ashley

      Agreed! Hopefully the success of The Lion King will encourage Disney to re-release it’s other classics in the same way. I’d love to see Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Hercules…the list goes on and on. :)

      • Ummmm

        I realize you are probably quite young, but “classics” would be considered Bambi, Dumbo, Snow White, Cinderella, Robin Hood,Sleeping Beauty and Song of the South. While your list would also be excellant choices, they cannot be considered classics yet.

      • Umm u r wrong!

        Sorry but “Beauty and the Beast” has reached Classic status already, more so then “Robin Hood” which is a lesser film in the Disney Library, Famously, “Beauty and the Beast” was the first ever animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture

      • Alyssa

        ^^^Uh yeah, I agree – I miss the Renaissance Era and Walt Era Disney Classics so so much. ARE U LISTENING DISNEY STUDIOS!? Please dont take away traditional animation. Even the ones that didnt make it HUGE are classics now-like Robin Hood and Fox &Hound etc. I would love to see Beauty and the Beast or The little Mermaid in 3D….every other movie in 3D i could care less….But Mermaid came out the year I was born 89′ and Beauty was the year I turned 2. Never got to see them on the big screen. The Lion King is so overrated. I dont hate it-I hate that its the only attention grabber(much like PIXAR). I have seen the Broadway show in Vegas-nothing that special either good but not eye popping like critics make it sound. I want to see Beauty or Mermaid on Broadway more.

    • whatnowsucka

      I don’t agree. I honestly don’t think that audiences would turn out in droves to see Beauty and the Beast like they do every time Disney releases The Lion King. I don’t think Disney would make money on Beauty and the Beast in 3D. TLK reaches a MUCH broader audience than BATB, which is why so many people go see it.

      • fu Sucka

        who cares if you don’t agree, you are wrong, that is simply your opinion which stinks like your Bung Hole, Sucka!

      • STFU

        @whatnowsucka bigger boxoffice does not mean better movie, nor does it indicate wheter a movie is a classic or not, plus Beauty and the Beast made 377,350,553 in it’s intitial run which I would say was droves, plus got that nomination for best picture, so don’t under estimate the power of the BEAST!

      • ?

        what’s the fuss, personally I thought Lion King was the worst of the 90’s animated films, Boring and overbloated!

      • Andrew

        “Beauty and the Beast” actually did very well in its IMAX release in 2002.

      • whatnowsucka

        I like the smell of poop in my pants, now it’s time for sexytime with Daddy!

  • Ellisiv

    I hope that Drive’s Ron Perlman only does theatrically released films from now on. He is an underrated actor and shouldn’t be doing straight to DVD films.

    • Mike

      I think sons of anarchy’s Ron Perlman is doing just fine for himself.

  • Ken

    i know re-releases of movies are getting on peoples nerves, but i do think it would be great if they re-released Aladdin again, in 2D and/or 3D. disney films of the 90s had an excellent use of color, and would probably benefit in today’s use of 3D animation.

  • The Horse Whisperer

    Anybody else notice the author using SJP and the phrase “stumbled out of the gate”? Fantastic.

    • Tyler

      I laughed for 2 minutes straight when I read this :)

    • Peter Griffin

      Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a foot.

    • Project Runaway

      SJP still has marks where the jockey was beating her with his riding crop as they went around the track.

    • Matthew Broderick

      Why do you think we adpted our kids? slept with the horse once, that was enough!…thank god Nathan Lane is still there for me, Sarah has been a good beard though!

    • Pierce Hawthorne

      Doyou think Sarah Jessica Parker and Hilary Swank came from the same stable?

    • Pierce Hawthorne

      PETA is going to be pissed, Sarah Jessica Parker’s box office performance is like animal cruelty!

      • Woot

        Can’t…. stop…. laughing….

    • Pierce Hawthorne

      goes to show you America likes animated Lions a lot better then old grey Mares!…poor SJP, the old grey Mare ain’t what she used to be!

    • Pierce Hawthorne

      heard Sarah went home and was consoled by her parents Mr. Ed and National Velvet, they gave her an extra apple, and combed her mane!

  • Dave

    Drive was awesome.

  • Tucker

    Straw Dogs marks the only return of James Woods to the big screen since An American Carol (2008) and it is so disappointing that they are showing little to nothing of him in it and he hasn’t been promoting the film. I wish he would do more major films like he used to.

    • 867-5309

      ITA. The only talk show I saw him on promoting this film was Craig Ferguson who had the great sense to have him on for several segments!

  • LoL


    • McProphet

      I assume you’re referring to the crap that is all Tyler Perry movies (which I agree with), but you do realize that The Lion King is set in Africa, right?? Hell, Mufasa is voiced by James Earl Jones!!

      • Meier

        Don’t forget about Whoopi and Robert!

    • Wevotjduf

      As opposed to the 50 + White people movies that keep being released? Racist punk.

      • LOL

        At least the White people movies are good. The Black people movies are so bad that they are almost good but not quite. A little more camp and they will get there.

      • GUS

        Racism is not funny bro!

    • Alyssa

      If you are referring to ” The Help” ….STFU. AND I am Caucasian . There were whites and blacks in that movie and it deserved all the money it got and the top spot for as long as it was there. That was the first movie I have seen in a while that I could laugh and cry at. Bigot

  • mark

    I’m gonna go see straw dogs. It looks awsome! And ya I agree with you lol. No more of those black movies! All they talk about is race. Booooring

  • mark

    But that’s a cartoon. Not real people. And just because a movie takes place in africa doenst mean black people. Hell half of africa is whit people. A continent doesn’t make a skin color

    • LOL

      Half of Africa is not White. Educate your booty.

  • LOL

    America loves recycled crap.

    • Anti-LOL Group Inc.

      Shut your f—ing face, trollbot!

      • Anti-Anti-LOL Group Inc.

        Touchy, touchy,

      • Anti- Anti-Anti-LOL Group Inc

        sounds like you want some LOL in your booty!

      • Anti-Anti-Anti-Anti LOL Group Inc

        I want to stomp on your face with cleats

      • Anti- Anti-Anti-LOL Group Inc

        Bring it on B*tch, I will obliterate you!

      • Anti- Anti-Anti-LOL Group Inc

        Now who is Touchy touchy?.. you friggin Fairy!

    • The Man

      hey LOL, I’ve been trying to figure something in my head, and maybe you can help me out, yeah? When a person is insane, as you clearly are, do you know that you’re insane? Maybe you’re just sitting around, reading “Guns and Ammo”, masturbating in your own feces, do you just stop and go, “Wow! It is amazing how f—ing crazy I really am!”? Yeah. Do you guys do that?

      • Jeff

        hey i’ve seen your reply to LOL a dozen times already. can’t you think of something else to comment to LOL instead of a line from Se7en?

      • shoop shoop

        dude, you totally stole that line from Se7en

      • LOL

        Jeff, what’s even better is that morons like Anti-LOL and The Man think there is only one LOL posting here.

      • Anti-LOL Group Inc.

        ok so I say suck it to all the inbred LOL’s on here!…and to you too Jeff!

    • LOL

      I changed my mind. Friday America rejected crap like that movie with Sarah Jessica Parker. And Warrior.

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