The Lion King passed the $500 million mark at the domestic box office yesterday, just the 14th film in history to do so. Of those 14, 10 have been released by The Walt Disney Studios. The Lion King is the second film from Disney Live Action to reach this milestone and will soon surpass the $504 million total of 2017’s Beauty and the Beast to become its biggest domestic release ever.
The movie is up to $501.3 million in North America and has grossed $964.4 million internationally, for a worldwide sum of $1.466 billion. China tops the international markets with $120.4 million.
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.