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Why Disney Won’t Acknowledge ‘The Lion King’ Remake as the Top Grossing Animated Film Ever

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Walt Disney Pictures

Disney’s computer-animated remake of its 1994 movie has grossed $1.3 billion worldwide, surpassing ‘Frozen’ which made $1.27 billion in 2013, though the studio keeps referring to it as a live-action movie.

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The Lion King (2019)” has now reigned as Disney’s highest grossing animated movie of all time. The studio’s remake of its 1994 classic film of the same name has grossed $1.3 billion worldwide after playing in theaters more than three weeks.

The Jon Favreau-directed pic officially defeated “Frozen (2013)” which ended its theatrical run on $1.27 billion globally. “The Lion King” remake notched the record after adding $20 million domestically over the weekend.

Disney, however, has insisted that the new “Lion King” movie is not an animated film. While it’s entirely computer-generated footage except for one shot, the studio has been calling it a “live-action” movie, creating some blurred lines.

“It’s neither, really,” Favreau told /Film in May. “It depends what standard you’re using. Because there’s no real animals and there’s no real cameras and there’s not even any performance that’s being captured that’s underlying data that’s real. Everything is coming through the hands of artists.”

The debate about the category it falls aside, the remake has become the second highest-grossing film of the year in the United States, trailing behind “Avengers: Endgame“, which is currently the highest-grossing film of all time at the worldwide box office. Should it fall in the live-action category, “The Lion King” remake is now the studio’s highest-grossing live-action film outside of its Marvel and “Star Wars” franchises.

“The Lion King” remake features Donald Glover as the voice of Simba, Beyonce Knowles as Nala, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner as Timon among other cast members. The movie isn’t much loved by critics, holding an approval rating of 52% on Rotten Tomatoes, with most of them praising its visual achievements, but criticizing it for lacking “the energy and heart that made the original so beloved.”

The critics’ reviews, however, didn’t seem to affect audiences’ opinions. The movie received an average grade of A on CinemaScore.

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