The Circle of Life continues as The Walt Disney Studios’ The Lion King 3D opened at #1 in theaters this weekend with an estimated North American gross of $30.2 million.
Originally released in 1994, The Lion King is now the third highest-grossing animated film of all time at the domestic box office, having made a combined $358.6 million in all releases. This release of The Lion King marks the fifth-biggest September opening in industry history, the second-biggest September opening in Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures history, and the first reissue to open at #1 in 14 years.
The Lion King is the highest-grossing traditional hand-drawn animated film of all time, and the highest-grossing film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.
The film will remain in theaters for a limited engagement ahead of its Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D premiere October 4. The Lion King is the top-performing home entertainment release ever. The Blu-ray debut marks the first time that it has been available in any form since 2004.
Meanwhile, the London production of the hugely popular stage show celebrated its 5,000th performance last Tuesday. The award-winning musical is also preparing to launch its Spanish premiere in Madrid, making it the largest stage musical ever presented in Spain. Opening October 21 at Lope de Vega Theatre, it is the first time the musical has been performed in the Spanish language.
Since opening in 1997, The Lion King has been performing to sold-out crowds on Broadway with 5,757 shows thus far.
“The Lion King has proven again and again the transcendent power of great stories and characters,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross. “From the screen to the stage, this timeless classic continues to touch the hearts of audiences of all ages around the world.”