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Disney's Lion King Sets an Impressive New Record, But Which One?

The Lion King 2019

Despite mixed reviews, Disney's The Lion King remake has set a new box office record for the studio, though some are debating whether it's done so as an animated film or a live-action movie.

According to Variety, Lion King was in third place at this weekend's box office, earning $20 million in its fourth weekend. This puts its global total at approximately $1.33 billion. Previous record holder Beauty and the Beast took in $1.26 billion during its 2017 run. This means the movie is Disney's biggest live-action film ever, and 2019's second-highest grossing film domestically at $472.8 million.

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However, there's some debate online as to whether the movie should be considered the highest-grossing live-action film for Disney or the highest-grossing animated film ever, regardless of studio, beating out Frozen's $1.27 million in 2013. The debate comes from Lion King's reliance on photorealistic computer animation.

These records only pertain to films released directly under the Disney banner, so such movies as Avengers: Endgame -- which is the highest-grossing film ever -- don't factor into this determination, as Marvel Studios is a subsidiary of the House of Mouse.

Currently in theaters, director Jon Favreau's The Lion King features the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Florence Kasumba, Eric André, Keegan-Michael Key, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and James Earl Jones.

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