Box office prognosticators can already feel the love for the Jon Favreau-directed remake of The Lion King that’s set to hit theaters this weekend.
Estimates for how well this photorealistic, CGI-heavy reimagining of the
If you go into the theater expecting to see the same kind of whimsy and fanciful animal behaviors and action you remember from the original, you’re going to be disappointed. The remake has a kind of nature documentary veneer, which can seem to jar against the — well, against the realistic-looking animals talking and singing about how Hakuna Matata is a wonderful phrase.
As of the time of this writing, The Lion King also holds an uninspiring 59% score on Rotten Tomatoes, a big drop from Favreau’s previous The Jungle Book that likewise relied on computer trickery to present a life-like feel to the visuals. If you’re on the glass-half-full-side of things, though, you might point to other facts like how those negative early impressions didn’t do much at all, in the long run, to dent Disney’s Aladdin reboot from Guy Ritchie. When the early images and clips of Will Smith’s genie first started surfacing, remember, it immediately got some fans and critics worried — but it didn’t matter, because that movie is closing in on $1 billion in global sales.
Per Variety, the summer box office is tracking more than 8% behind last year’s, so a big hit like The Lion King couldn’t come at a better time. Interestingly, only three non-Pirates of the Caribbean live-action