The Lion King re-release in 3D has continued to be a huge earner for studio Disney, 17 years after it was first released by the studio.
This passing weekend the animated tale became the third highest grossing animated film in history, surpassing Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Its 2011 gross after this weekend is $77 million, taking its worldwide total to $862.1 million. Adjusted for inflation, that's bigger than the number 2 animated movie, Finding Nemo - which is slightly ahead in raw numbers. The Lion King stayed number one over the weekend, despite a bunch of new wide releases, including much fancied Brad Pitt Oscar hopeful, Moneyball and Taylor Lautner starrer, Abduction.
What's utterly depressing at the American box-office at the moment is the amount of great films that are not finding an audience. This week in Ireland we had two of my favourite films of the year - Drive and Warrior - open to extremely strong reviews. Similarly in America they have received rave notices from critics - both now stand at over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes - yet the box-office for both has been slow. Industry observers in Hollywood are saying it's because teen boys, and younger adult males, are not heading to the cinema as much. Both of those films were produced for relatively low budgets, so should turn a profit; but Warrior wasn't press screened in Ireland because its studio, Lionsgate, didn’t bother to organise one. A silly move when your film needs a critical push - which it has gotten days later instead.