‘The Lion King’: Rs 13.17-cr haul on day 1 in India

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Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) “The Lion King” has registered a business of Rs 13.17 crore on its opening day in India, and the trade believes the film will only seen an upturn in collections over the weekend. Many feel it could record the third-highest opening weekend for a Hollywood film in India, after only “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War”.

The film is director Jon Favreau’s update of the 1994 Disney classic of the same name, with photo-realistic, computer-generated animation, and it brings back the adventures of Simba, who is to succeed his father Mufasa as King of the Pride Lands. It narrates a tale of how Simba rises up to the occasion despite several attempts to bring him down by his villainous uncle Scar.

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The film opened in India across 2,140 screens on July 19 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

While the film’s gross box-office collection was Rs 13.17 crore, nett figures for day one stood at Rs 11.06 crore.

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Favreau returns with a film in this genre after the 2016 global blockbuster, “The Jungle Book”. The 2016 film had seen a bumper opening in India too, recording a Rs 10.09 crore-haul on its opening day. “The Lion King” has surpassed that mark.

“‘The Lion King’ roars… Opens in double digits on day one. Trends better than ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, which collected Rs 10.05 crore on day one. Business will witness an upturn on day two and day three, when kids and families throng cineplexes,” tweeted trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

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The star-studded voice cast of the original Hollywood version includes Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles, Seth Rogen, Alfre Woodard, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Kani and John Oliver. Actor James Earl Jones is also reprising his role of Mufasa from the original.

Back home, the Hindi dubbed version cashes in on Shah Rukh Khan’s stardom. SRK voices Mufasa in the dubbed Hindi version while his son Aryan acts as Simba. Sunidhi Chauhan and Armaan Malik have sung for Hindi version.

According to Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures, “The Lion King” is high on nostalgia, and that has translated into robust sales.

“The film has started strong and is set for a very healthy weekend. Simba won’t have to wait to be king of the box office this weekend,” Gianchandani said.

Rajender Singh Jyala, chief programming officer at Inox Leisure, added: “The film has a big buzz around it. The Hindi dubbing by Shah Rukh and Aryan has also created hype. We expect ‘The Lion King’ to have the third-highest opening weekend of all time in India, behind only ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.”



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