BOX OFFICE: Weak reviews or not, “Lion King” roars out of the gate towards a $180 million weekend

lion2Lots of prognosticators, perhaps intimidated by Disney and its ability to retaliate, seemed to be avoiding predicting how much the Mouse would make on the second worst-reviewed of its animation-to-“live”-action remakes, “The Lion King.”

I’ve read on discussion boards predictions of as high as $200 million, or as low as $100.

Box Office Mojo was late posting the suggestion that $190 million was the mark Disney is going for.

But lets slip that $180-192 is the range, and a $22-25 million Thursday puts the lower end of that spectrum within reach.

That will bury “Spider-Man: Far from Home” on its third weekend ($22), with “Toy Story 4” fading to $10-12, and only “Yesterday” holding audience, weekend to weekend, and “Crawl” managing another $6-7 million, if they’re lucky.

Bleecker Street’s wide release of “The Art of Self-Defense” is neither wide enough in release (550 or so theaters) or appeal to crack the top ten.


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