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Moneyball’s Best Play Can’t Shake Lion King 3D Re-Release

Moneyball’s best play can’t shake Lion King 3D re-release.

Moneyball’s best play can’t shake Lion King 3D re-release.

The top spot in the box office this weekend did not belong to the much-anticipated baseball drama “Moneyball”, starring Hollywood elite Brad Pitt. Nor did it belong to the Warner Bros. new family drama, “Dolphin Tale”.  Instead, the crown stayed with last weekend’s surprise champion, a theatrical 3D re-release of Disney’s 1994 hit “The Lion King”.

Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., admitted he was “really kind of amazed at how the ‘The Lion King’ performed”.  Originally planned as a two-week run in theatres to garner attention for its October 4 release to Blu-ray, the 3D version of The Lion King has grossed $61.7 million since its arrival in theaters on September 16th.  Considering both the original and updated versions together, The Lion King has earned a cumulative $390.2 million over the past 17 years.

The success of this theatrical run suggests a strong potential audience for other Disney musical re-releases.  The 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast, for instance, was scheduled to hit theaters in February 2010, long before The Lion King 3D was even announced as a re-release option.  This re-release was stalled because producers were concerned with saturating the market.

For now, however, Dave Hollis, Disney’s executive vice president of distribution, said that Disney is planning to extend the run of The Lion King 3D in theatres.   “At this point”, he said, “with a number that’s this big, we’re going to try to meet the demand.”

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