The reimagining of the 1994 animated classic boasts a star-studded voice cast led by Donald Glover and Beyoncé.
Director Jon Favreau’s The Lion King is roaring early into China, where it’s expected to do big business for a family title.
Projections show the music-infused movie earning $50 million to $60 million this weekend, ahead of fellow Disney updates Aladdin ($19 million) and Favreau’s The Jungle Book ($49 million), not adjusted for inflation.
The Lion King opens everywhere in China on Friday, a week ahead of its launch in the U.S. and other major foreign markets.
The Lion King franchise does have the same awareness, or affinity, that it does in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
In 1995, the animated film had a limited footprint in China — a far smaller market at the time — earning $5 million at the box office. The stage production has played there twice, both times in Shanghai in 2006 and 2017.
Favreau’s photorealistic computer-animated remake of the classic 1994 animated Disney film features voice work by Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner and Alfre Woodard, among others. Much of the cast are not brand names in the Middle Kingdom.