‘Lion King’ 3-D Begins New Circle Of Life At Box Office

Steven Soderbergh's 'Contagion' follows at #2, with Ryan Gosling vehicle 'Drive' at #3.

What’s old was new again as Disney’s iconic “The Lion King” became the #1 movie at the box office over the weekend, taking in an estimated $29.3 million with a souped-up 3-D redo of the 1994 original.

“Drive,” one of the year’s best-reviewed films, was #3 in its weekend debut, while the poorly reviewed remake of “Straw Dogs” and Sarah Jessica Parker’s even-worse-reviewed “I Don’t Know How She Does It” both flopped in their debuts. Last week’s #1 movie, “Contagion,” dropped to #2 this week.

“The Lion King” 3-D re-release earned more than the other three new releases combined. The film’s original-run, IMAX re-release (back in 2002) and the past weekend’s numbers pushed “The Lion King” from #25 to #17 on the all-time domestic box-office chart, according to Box Office Mojo. The animated tale, which has also quite successfully been adapted for Broadway, has made $357.8 million in the United States to date.

Steven Soderbergh’s ensemble procedural drama “Contagion” made $14.5 million in its second weekend of release, for a total of $44.2 million. “Drive” took in $11 million, but while the film has set Twitter abuzz in critic circles, it remains to be seen how it will continue to play with a broader audience. “This is one of Ryan Gosling’s best performances,” Aisle Seat reported.

“The Help” came in at #4 at the box office, adding $6.4 million for a total of $147.3 million. The remake of director Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 thriller “Straw Dogs,” featuring “True Blood” star Alexander Skarsgård, mustered just $5 million in its debut. “I Don’t Know How She Does It” fared even worse with just $4.5 million, which was less than the opening numbers of Parker’s last two flops.

Meanwhile, critical darling “Warrior” dropped 47 percent, all the way down to #8, in its second weekend of release with just $2.8 million for a $9.9 million total. “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” which is the exact opposite of a critical darling (with a perfect “zero” score on film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes), made a paltry $2.3 million in 10 days after a $380,000 second weekend.

Next weekend’s new releases include Taylor Lautner’s “Abduction,” Brad Pitt’s “Moneyball,” action ensemble (Statham! Owen! DeNiro!) “Killer Elite” and filmmaker Kevin Smith’s “Red State.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Lion King” and “Drive.”

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