Jon Favreau's 'The Lion King' Could Roar Its Way To A $150 Million Opening Weekend

By the time the summer is over, Avengers: Endgame will still be wearing the crown as the film with the highest opening weekend totals, but according to new estimates, Disney's The Lion King has a chance to take second place. Early tracking numbers suggest that Jon Favreau's new not-quite-live-action, not-quite-animated remake of the 1994 classic is eyeing a $150 million-plus domestic opening, which is well beyond what the '94 movie pulled in (even accounting for inflation).

Variety reports the early numbers, noting that this summer has been particularly brutal in terms of inaccurate box office predictions for major blockbusters. A $150 million domestic opening would put The Lion King well behind Avengers: Endgame's $357 million, but easily within reach of the year's second-highest so far, Captain Marvel, which pulled in $153 million when it opened in February. And it'll easily surpass the original Lion King's $40 million during its wide opening back in '94.

As usual, early predictions like these are subject to change as the film gets closer and the studio ramps up its marketing efforts to increase awareness for the general public. But it seems as if this one's already on the radar for many: Fandango says ticket pre-sales are already outpacing Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast, which opened to $174 million a couple of years ago.

Favreau's film marks the third Disney remake of this year, following Tim Burton's Dumbo, which opened to $45 million domestic, and Guy Ritchie's Aladdin, which pulled in $91 million. The director, of course, also helmed Disney's The Jungle Book back in 2016, which opened with $103 million and went on to accumulate a massive $966 million worldwide. A $150 million opening weekend would be the biggest of his career, topping Iron Man 2's $128 million from back in 2010.

The filmmaker has put together an amazing cast for this new vision of the classic tale, with Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, John Oliver as Zazu, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, and John Kani as Rafiki.

The Lion King hits theaters on July 19, 2019.