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The Lion King is king again with impressive $8.8M Friday; On track for $30M+ weekend

Disney’s limited rerelease of The Lion King (in 3D) is turning into a huge hit for them. The 3D rerelease grossed a box office leading $8.825M on Friday from just 2,330 theaters.

According to Box Office Guru’s Gitesh Pandya (via Twitter), The Lion King looks headed for a $30-33M opening weekend, with a per theater average that could exceed $14,000. It’s an incredible weekend for the film and far exceeds the $15-20M expectations leading into the weekend. Worth noting: the current September box office record holder is 2002’s romantic comedy “Sweet Home Alabama” with $35.649M.

The Lion King (in 3D) had no trouble dismantling the competition on Friday, with newcomers Drive (#3 / $4.024); Straw Dogs (#4 / $1.985M) and I Don’t Know How She Does It (#6 / $1.558M) all underperforming.

Last week’s number one movie Contagion moved down to second place with an estimated $4.63M on Friday (est. $34.342M total).

More box office analysis and numbers when the weekend estimates are released on Sunday.

Source: Box Office Data