With an estimated $999 million worldwide through July 29, Disney’s The Lion King will cross the $1 billion mark today in just its 19th day of release. Along with Aladdin, it’s the second release from Disney Live Action to reach the $1 billion threshold this year and the sixth ever to do so. It is The Walt Disney Studios’ fourth billion dollar release this year, following Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, and Aladdin.
Preceded by a strong debut in China where it earned nearly $100 million in its first week, The Lion King debuted day-and-date globally July 19 with $446.1 million. Bolstered by an A CinemaScore, it opened with $191.8 million domestically, the eighth-biggest debut of all time, and continues to be #1 at the daily box office earning an estimated $361 million to date.
Internationally, it has brought in $638 million with major markets Japan (Aug. 9) and Italy (Aug. 21) still to open. The Lion King is the second-highest release of 2019 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is the highest-grossing release from Disney Live Action in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Central America, Trinidad, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
Director Jon Favreau’s all-new The Lion King journeys to the African savanna where a future king must overcome betrayal and tragedy to assume his rightful place on Pride Rock. The cast includes Donald Glover (Atlanta, Solo: A Star Wars Story) as future king Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Dreamgirls) as Simba’s friend-turned-love interest Nala, and James Earl Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Field of Dreams) as Simba’s wise and loving father, Mufasa, reprising his iconic performance from Disney’s 1994 animated classic.
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a Slave, Doctor Strange) was called on to portray Simba’s villainous uncle Scar, and Alfre Woodard (Juanita, Marvel’s Luke Cage) portrays Simba’s no-nonsense mother, Sarabi. JD McCrary (Tyler Perry’s The Paynes, Vital Signs) fills the shoes of Young Simba, a confident cub who can’t wait to be king, and Shahadi Wright Joseph (Hairspray Live, Broadway’s “The Lion King”) brings tough cub Young Nala to life.
Every kingdom comes with a trustworthy advisor or two. John Kani (Coriolanus, Captain America: Civil War) plays the wise baboon Rafiki, and John Oliver (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) plays hornbill Zazu, Mufasa’s loyal confidant. When Simba goes into exile, he relies on two newfound friends—Seth Rogen (Sausage Party, Neighbors) lends his comedic chops to naïve warthog Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street, American Horror Story) is the know-it-all meerkat Timon.
While most of the animals in the kingdom respect the king, the hyenas have other plans. Florence Kasumba (Emerald City, Black Panther) portrays Shenzi, Eric André (The Eric André Show, Man Seeking Woman) is Azizi, and Keegan-Michael Key (Predator, Friends from College) plays Kamari.