Weekend Receipts: The Lion King Reclaims Crown in 3-D

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The Disney vault opened its hefty doors, unleashed a 3-D fury of Jeremy Irons's draggiest performance, and stormed the box office this weekend with The Lion King 3D's downright impressive opening tally. I hope this means we'll be hearing about 3-D re-releases of (forgive me) better Disney movies soon. Give me Aladdin, 101 Dalmatians, and The Rescuers back, please. We have to get children to listen to Bob Newhart's classic drollness somehow! I don't think The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart is available on iTunes yet.

1. The Lion King 3D

Gross: $29,300,000 (new)

Screens: 2,330 (PSA $12,575)

Weeks: 1

Apparently moviegoers did not share my fear that The Lion King 3D would look like an average episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, because they came out in droves (prides?) to see Simba, Nala, Mufasa and that bitter queen Scar romp around in the grasslands. Why do all Disney villains look the same? I can't tell Scar apart from Jafar or Kevin Jonas.

2. Contagion

Gross: $14,480,000 ($44,192,000)

Screens: 3,222 (PSA $6,953)

Weeks: 2

Excepting Disney's flashy re-release, Contagion continues to petrify and entrance the Purell generation. I consider its September success a slight vindication of 2009's Jennifer's Body, another (better, wittier, more provocative) thriller released at summer's end that failed to fill seats thanks to rather dubious circumstances. Hope Contagion enjoys its high perch on this week's tally, because I suspect next week's Moneyball will slap it right down.

3. Drive

Gross: $11,019,000 (new)

Screens: 2,886 (PSA $3,818)

Weeks: 1

The movie that makes you want to draw your own, lovingly detailed map of Los Angeles came on strong for its $13 million budget. The extraordinarily positive word of mouth and fabulous showings at Cannes and the LA Film Festival aided its receipts too, no doubt. Also, a hunk of Errol Flynn-y hots named Ryan Gosling stars. A swashbuckler of sweetness, that Gosling! He peers into my feelings and says, "En garde!"

4. The Help

Gross: $6,438,000 ($147,365,000)

Screens: $3,014 (PSA $2,136)

Weeks: 6

Aw, shit pie. That timeless fall treat! Viola Davis's Oscar-primed performance keeps wheeling in the dough, well ahead of the other female-centric movie that debuts at No. 6 this week. I don't know how she eats it! (The shit pie, I mean.)

5. Straw Dogs

Gross: $5,000,000 (new)

Screens: 2,408 (PSA $2,076)

Weeks: 1

Taking on a remake of Sam Peckinpah's harsh classic is a noble pursuit (particularly in the overwhelmingly bland world of remakes), but this retooling's across-the-board reviews -- including a damning one from our own Alison Willmore -- indicate why it trails so far behind Drive. Can someone help me coin a Peckinpah pun here? "More like The Mild Bunch if you ask me!" etc? I'm coming up short.

6. I Don't Know How She Does It

Gross: $4,502,000

Screens: 2,476 (PSA $1,818)

Weeks: 1

SJP, what did I tell you about making movies that eschew camp and choke on their own sincerity? Did you hear about never revisiting the Morgans, SJP? Because I wanted you to hear about it. The tepid-to-terrible reviews of I Don't Know How She Does It killed any shot of a triumphant opening weekend, but at least this movie isn't as bad as The Family Stone. You won't leave I Don't Know How She Does It asking for some of Diane Keaton's deadly cancer.

[Figures via Box Office Mojo]


  • AS says:

    If there was justice in the world Drive would be no. 1.

  • Bigger queen: Jafar or Scar?

  • Capote99 says:

    I saw "Drive" last night in a theatre packed with five -- count 'em, five -- people. Frankly, I think it might have suffered from over-hype. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had stumbled across it unaware. Or seen it in a packed theatre where the audience was reacting. It kind of lost steam for me the minute Ryan put on the mask.

  • NP says:

    I'd rather it build momentum and find legs than do boffo first week business and flame out quickly. Everyone I know who has seen it (myself included) loved it so I hope word of mouth will help it pick up steam.

  • The Cantankerist says:

    Scar. Jafar would never have been able to hit that "you have NO idea" with the same level of delicious, debauched camp.

  • Megan says:

    Had the pleasure of revisiting The Lion King this weekend. Could've definitelyd one without the 3D (and so could have wallet!) but what a beautiful experience. I actually cried a few times. Cried, because A)I wish I was 8 again, and B)There are very few movies as wonderful as this these days. You can all take your Ryan Goslin movie #407 and lump it.