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Titanic sits at just north of $2.187 billion worldwide, but it's about to hit a lion shaped iceberg! Here's my analysis of why The Lion King will beat it. 1) The Lion King is the ultimate Disney nostalgia film. In 1994, the Lion King made $763 million worldwide. That was more than DOUBLE what Beauty and the Beast did just 3 years prior. TLK consistently ranks as peoples favorite Disney film overall, and it's iconography is second to none. In North America, Europe and Australia; it will command the a huge wave of viewers from all quadrants just based on the nostalgia factor alone. People from the age of 50-25 who grew up on the movie will want to see it, and they will want to take their children and grandchildren to experience it as well. 2) In 2017, the BATB remake made over $1.26 billion worldwide, during a time of year when most kids and young adults are in school. A year earlier, The Jungle Book was able to nab nearly a billion despite not being nearly as popular as the "Golden Age" films of BATB, Aladdin, and TLK; and being the first major CGI Disney remake blockbuster. The Lion King will be out during the summer, with little relevant competition for over a month. The summer timeframe bodes well for legs on blockbuster family movies, even with huge opening weekends (ex. Incredibles 2 - 3.3x, Finding Dory - 3.6x). Where as films like Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory had a bit over a decade of build up, The Lion King has had 25 years and it has only grown more popular over the decades. 3) The story and visuals of TLK will translate exceptionally well across almost all cultures. There will be no "strictly Western" or "strictly Eastern" themes that would hurt it, unlike many other films. In countries that are less susceptible to the nostalgia, the international buzz and easy cultural assimilation will help it tremendously (ex. Gavin Feng has already said he can see it doing upwards of $300m in China.) 4) Jon Favreau is at the helm, and his previous outing in the same style/genre (The Jungle Book) was highly acclaimed across the board. This is important because it provides subconscious faith that you don't have to really worry about the film being bad. WOM should be high, right from the jump So the question is.... Are you in, or are you out? 😎
This club is simple. Will Disney have 5 films over $500m domestic this year? Avengers: Endgame is already one, so we need 4 more. Will TS4 / TLK / FRZ2 and TROS each reach $500m domestic? Historical precedent (nostalgia, the Disney "machine", release schedule, the previous films in the franchise) suggest all of these CAN reach $500m, the question is will they all do it?