Lion King Expects Big Debut In 3-D
“The Lion King,” even 17 years after its initial release, is expecting a big turnout as it debuts in 3-D in theatres across the country, reports The Los Angeles Times.
The 1994 animated film from Disney will hit more than 2,000 theaters this weekend for a limited two-week engagement and is expected to debut with about $15 million, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
If those numbers come to fruition, the 3-D version of “Lion King” will be in a tight race for the top movie spot after this weekend with "Contagion," the pandemic thriller that was most popular last weekend, when it opened to $22.4 million.
In 1994, “The Lion King” raked in $40.9 million during its first weekend in wide release. Then it went on to make $788.2 million worldwide by the end of its run.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the movie sold more home entertainment units than any film in Disney's history, even though it has not been available for purchase on DVD or VHS since 2004.
It is not the first time that Disney has re-released its popular animated titles in 3-D.
Versions of Pixar Animation's first two "Toy Story" films came out in 2009, reformatted as a double feature, and opened to $12.5 million and ultimately collected $32.3 million worldwide.
Meanwhile, a 3-D conversion of "Beauty and the Beast" played at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood for an exclusive two-week run earlier this month to help promote the new version's DVD/Blu-ray launch in October.