Disney's recent CGI remake of the 1994 animated film The Lion King dominated the box office in its opening weekend, earning an estimated $185 million at 4,725 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, alone.
According to Entertainment Weekly, this sees the film, released July 19, earn the highest box office numbers ever of a domestic launch of a PG-rated film. In an even greater feat, The Lion King had the highest July film opening of all time.
The Lion King — which features the voices of Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Shahadi Wright Joseph, JD McCrary, Alfre Woodard and Billy Eichner — is only expecting to continue breaking records across the globe. In fact, the film's already earned another $269.4 million between Friday and Sunday. In China, the movie grossed $98 million since its debut. Altogether, its total worldwide gross amassed to $531 million.
According to Deadline, Beyoncé is cited as one of the most prominent reasons for The Lion King's massive success, thanks to her unmatched social media following and complimentary album, The Lion King: The Gift, which has shot to No. 1 on the iTunes albums chart since its July 19 release, the same day the film premiered, nationwide.
"Beyoncé is a social media linchpin for Lion King, her near 206M social media followers (across Twitter, FB, and Instagram) repped 22% of the film's entire SMU reach," the site reports. "She's been active in promoting the film online since the first trailer drop at Thanksgiving... Beyoncé is the social media star of The Lion King, but she brings something more than her social pages to this highly anticipated movie. In addition to her followers, the campaign coordinated with the pop/R&B singer to drop the 'Spirit' clip to her official YouTube Channel last Tuesday — just in time for the red carpet premiere in Hollywood."
Disney's The Lion King is currently playing in theaters, everywhere.
(Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)