The Lion King remake has already beaten the original Lion King at the box office


People sure do love Simba.

Walt Disney Pictures

If you needed more proof nostalgia is an easier sell than something new, here it is: The Lion King live-action remake, released just 10 days ago in the US, has already grossed more at the global box office than the 1994 original. This is according to Box Office Mojo, which has the remake at $968.5 million in revenue, about $60 million more than its source material. The box-office bonanza is in spite of the mixed reaction the new film has gotten from critics: The Lion King (2019) has a Metacritic score of 55, versus The Lion King (1994)’s 88.

The new film has yet to catch up to the original’s domestic box office, with the 1994 movie ending up with $422 million in US revenue against the remake’s $351 million. But globally the photorealistic reimagining has been a smash hit, stacking up $616 million against the cartoon’s $545 million. (It’s almost a guarantee, though, that the new Lion King will eventually topple the original’s US box office.)

Disney is having its best theatrical year ever. Aladdin, another remake that met with lukewarm reviews, recently just passed $1 billion in global revenue. Disney’s superheroes have continued to be super lucrative, with Spider-Man: Far From Home and Captain Marvel both also topping $1 billion. And then, of course, there’s Avengers: Endgame, which recently beat Avatar to become the highest-grossing movie ever.