The Lion King (2019)

Nick*Z

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Clever marketing can sell anything. And just because 'the masses' have seen it, doesn't mean they 'enjoyed' it, either as much as the original or at all. Like I said, the preview looked good to me.

I went.
I saw it.
I didn't like it. (*others may have had a different impression or reaction)

But the real measure of any movie will be dealt in the court of popular opinion decades from now after all the marketing hype has died down and only the reputation of the film stands. A couple of things to consider: when James Cameron's Titanic premiered in 1997, hype for the movie was whipped up world-wide, the tween and teen set heavily targeted to appeal to the Jack and Rose angle. It worked. The picture did repeat biz and was a runaway financial success.

However, in 2006, when Paramount Home Video polled a select group of retailers as to how home video sales of the picture were doing they were stymied by the fact most retailers reported they could not even move the stock quantities they had on DVD, much less get their knickers in a ball for a new Blu-ray on the horizon.

Contrast that dwindling popularity to the many - and varied reissues of The Wizard of Oz on home video, which have never undersold and continues to sell out regardless of the vintage of the audience or how many times people have collected the movie thus far on home video. Soooooo, The Lion King live action reboot - classic, cult classic or forgotten relic? Only time will tell.

Finally, Murray Burnett, author of the play 'Everybody Comes to Rick's' which became Casablanca said it best of a classic; "True today. True tomorrow. True always." Amen!
 

MatthewA

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It sold based on name recognition. Just because they bought a ticket doesn't mean they liked it. You don't get a refund if you didn't like the movie, so it still counts towards the box office gross. Unlike TV ratings, it's harder to break down exactly who is buying movie tickets.
 

Josh Steinberg

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But we can look to indicators outside box office numbers to understand how to better read those numbers.

First, the film has had a phenomenal hold from week to week. If it wasn’t being enjoyed by audiences, business would have fallen off a cliff after the first week (see “Dark Phoenix” as an example of this - well promoted but poorly written entry into a long running popular franchise, opened below expectations and faded fast).

Second, look at the CinemaScore, which asks moviegoers who have actually seen the film whether or not they’ve enjoyed it. The film got an A.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this isn’t a case of a film making money solely because it’s distributor spent money promoting it.
 

Robert Crawford

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Yeah, I love those that try to downplay the box office without acknowledging that the film continues to do well each week and ignore that people in general seem to like the film a lot more than some vocal HTF members.:laugh:
 

MatthewA

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Both this and the new Aladdin have Rotten Tomatoes scores in the 50s. So it's obvious that even though people are going to see it, they seem to have reservations about the end result. As long as Disney gets your money, it's all the same to them. But last year's Christopher Robin proved that ultra-detailed CGI need not be so painfully literal in its execution.

So if you'd heard Britney Spears' "Satisfaction" before you heard the Stones', you'd like it better? :blink:
Never mind the Stones, she wasn't even better than Justine Bateman in the movie of the same name! But if you want to hear an unironically good cover, try Otis Redding's on for size.
 

Robert Crawford

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Both this and the new Aladdin have Rotten Tomatoes scores in the 50s. So it's obvious that even though people are going to see it, they seem to have reservations about the end result. As long as Disney gets your money, it's all the same to them. But last year's Christopher Robin proved that ultra-detailed CGI need not be so painfully literal in its execution.



Never mind the Stones, she wasn't even better than Justine Bateman in the movie of the same name! But if you want to hear an unironically good cover, try Otis Redding's on for size.
You must be talking about reviewer scores as The Lion King is currently at 88% audience score which is more important when it comes to box office acceptance.
 

MatthewA

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Yes, that is the critical rating, but when you limit it to just the top critics, the score is weighted even heavily in favor of the green tomatoes.

Those direct-to-video sequels sold plenty of copies, too.
 

TJPC

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We have been waiting until after Labour Day and audiences full of noisy children to see this film, so we went tonight to finally see it.

Our complex was only playing LK in 3D at 7:30 pm. We (and about 7 other people who attended) enjoyed it, but found it about a 1/2 hour too long. I also wondered as I watched it why it was made except to make money. Wouldn’t the wonderful CGI (you have no doubt the animals are real) be better served with a new story?
 

Jake Lipson

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Our complex was only playing LK in 3D at 7:30 pm.
I understand the impulse to wait, but you're lucky you still found it in 3D. It hasn't been available here in 3D for several weeks. It seems like 3D is only available for the first few weeks when something is near the top of the box office, and then it shrinks to 2D only after that.

found it about a 1/2 hour too long.
That's because it is half an hour longer than its hand-drawn counterpart, but it doesn't really do anything that wasn't done more effectively in the original.

I also wondered as I watched it why it was made except to make money.
Yep. Disney had $1.57 billion reasons to make this.

Wouldn’t the wonderful CGI (you have no doubt the animals are real) be better served with a new story?
Unfortunately, a new story probably wouldn't have made as much money. So far this year, only Endgame has grossed more.
 

Robert Crawford

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We have been waiting until after Labour Day and audiences full of noisy children to see this film, so we went tonight to finally see it.

Our complex was only playing LK in 3D at 7:30 pm. We (and about 7 other people who attended) enjoyed it, but found it about a 1/2 hour too long. I also wondered as I watched it why it was made except to make money. Wouldn’t the wonderful CGI (you have no doubt the animals are real) be better served with a new story?
Most movies are made just to make money and this one will most likely gross over 1.6 billion dollars. It is about a 1/2 hour too long, but I enjoyed it.
 

MatthewA

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Unfortunately, a new story probably wouldn't have made as much money.
X-meets-Y-divided-by-Z story pitches notwithstanding, that's what they said about it the first time. Almost none of the animators wanted to work on it. They all thought Pocahontas was finally going to get the studio the Best Picture Oscar it had long-since been denied*; we all know which was the bigger hit. And in terms of box office hits, The Lion King was a home run. The box-office race between it and Forrest Gump (along with the latter film's Oscar rivalry with Pulp Fiction) was not all corporate-generated hype. It was grassroots. It was the culmination of everything the animation department, the film studio, and the company as a whole had done to pull themselves together since the decline and fall of the late Ron Miller and the critical and commercial failure of The Black Cauldron jeopardized their future altogether. From a Hollywood also-ran to a multimedia powerhouse in 10 years.

I was 11, the age that other Disney movie with a lion king in it (and I don't mean Robin Hood :D) called "the age of not believing," then. My younger sisters were 5 and 2. That summer, we drove from North Carolina to my cousin's Bat Mitzvah in Cincinnati, Ohio, and my Dad wanted us actually to see the countryside and not just fly over it. My clearest memory of the trip home is driving through the mountains of West Virginia and my sisters repeatedly singing a mangled chorus of "Hakuna Matata." You wouldn't get that from any of the songs in Thumbelina or The Swan Princess. Even my Dad was impressed with the movie and especially the Timon and Pumbaa characters**, and on Oscar night as the Debbie Allen dancers performed "Circle of Life," my Mom wondered why it didn't get a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Advertising like that is one of those things you just can't buy, even though Disney did purchase enough ad time to help make Simba perhaps the most recognizable cartoon feline since Garfield (sorry, Snowball II). And unlike a lot of the pre-home video animated films, it has never really left the public consciousness since even the cyclical video reissues aren't exactly rare and hard-to-find. eBay came into being soon after and made it easier to find copies between reissues, as did Amazon's used market. The original film's success is not something you can fake, force, or recreate; it has to come naturally. Without it, there would be nothing to remake.

All the other movies that have been remade recently along with this were new stories once upon a time. For those reasons and more, I don't agree that a new story would not have made as much money. I think people are really clamoring for something new and original from Disney again. I also get the sense that the things that people liked about this were the same things they loved about the original.

*And how did Braveheart get a pass for taking liberties with history Pocahontas got raked over the coals for? Of course, if they really wanted to make Pocahontas II historically accurate, it would have made more little kids cry than Bambi. Too bad Alfred Hitchcock already made a movie called Rebecca.
**It was 22 years from the retroactively NC-17-rated Pink Flamingos (whose drag queen star had actually met Elton John before actually being the inspiration for a Disney character in another film) and 20 years from the R-rated Blazing Saddles to this G-rated animated musical with a song about being ostracized because of flatus.
 
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JayJay

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This was my final "summer" movie and I was pretty bored with it. I prefer the re-imagination of the Jungle Book. I just didn't feel connected to this movie. It did look remarkable but that was about it.
 

Colin Jacobson

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This was my final "summer" movie and I was pretty bored with it. I prefer the re-imagination of the Jungle Book. I just didn't feel connected to this movie. It did look remarkable but that was about it.
I've been pretty underwhelmed with most of the Disney remakes.

2015's "Cinderella" was better than expected, and I kinda like "Maleficent", though that one's enough into prequel territory to not be a true remake of "Sleeping Beauty".

All the rest are meh to me. Of the others, "Aladdin" is most enjoyable, but that's mainly because I really like Will Smith's performance.

The others leave me cold!
 
J

JayJay

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I've been pretty underwhelmed with most of the Disney remakes.

2015's "Cinderella" was better than expected, and I kinda like "Maleficent", though that one's enough into prequel territory to not be a true remake of "Sleeping Beauty".

All the rest are meh to me. Of the others, "Aladdin" is most enjoyable, but that's mainly because I really like Will Smith's performance.

The others leave me cold!

We watched that one at home and barely made it through it. I didn't like any of the actors in it and the songs were horrible.
 

usrunnr

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I will forever be sorry they didn't film the Broadway play of "The Lion King" -- on the stage and with a live audience.
 

TJPC

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My favourite was the re-make of Beauty and The Beast”. It was the first 3D blu I had to order from Britain.
 

MatthewA

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I will forever be sorry they didn't film the Broadway play of "The Lion King" -- on the stage and with a live audience.
They did Newsies live and are planning to do a live Little Mermaid in addition to the Rob Marshan't remake. I'm sure that will be next on the list. But it's still making money on Broadway and on tour, and they are sure to want to squeeze as much revenue out of that as possible before they do. They need it since their Star Wars park is not going to plan. As Bart Simpson said when MAD Magazine had The Simpsons review the film Siskel and Ebert-style for their parody The Lion's Kin*, "he's not just a lion, he's a cash cow!"

I've been pretty underwhelmed with most of the Disney remakes.

2015's "Cinderella" was better than expected, and I kinda like "Maleficent", though that one's enough into prequel territory to not be a true remake of "Sleeping Beauty".

All the rest are meh to me. Of the others, "Aladdin" is most enjoyable, but that's mainly because I really like Will Smith's performance.

The others leave me cold!
Actually, Maleficent was my least favorite of all the remakes and it soured me on all the others. Even giving that movie a chance was against my better judgement, but my roommate at the time and his boyfriend wanted to see it and how Angie delivered the curse. That resembles Sleeping Beauty as much as a buffalo chip resembles steak tartare. There are already enough good non-Disney live action Cinderella films** that complement Walt's indelible 1950 masterpiece and financial savior of the studio when it was still hurting from WWII cutting off Europe that I didn't feel the need to see the new one. I'll see the new Dumbo when I actually see an elephant fly for real (or until my boycott conditions are met, whichever comes first), but what necessitated making it over two hours long? What bothers me is that I feel like all these remakes are intended to replace the originals.

*A year earlier, they had Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket review A-Lad-Dim and Beauty and the Beef, as they rechristened them.
**Even those are connected to Disney in some ways. Rodgers and Hammerstein did it for TV with two future leading ladies of Disney musicals before Disney themselves remade it with Brandy. Between those, the Sherman Brothers wrote The Slipper and the Rose with Richard Chamberlain as Prince Charming. After those, around the same time as Disney's TV re-remake of the R&H version (which interpolated a Rodgers & Hart song and a Rodgers solo song), Fox released Ever After with Drew Barrymore and Angelica Huston. That Disney would now own it is no coincidence; the director, Andy Tennant, played Melio in Midnight Madness.
 
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Colin Jacobson

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My favourite was the re-make of Beauty and The Beast”. It was the first 3D blu I had to order from Britain.
I might've liked that one more with someone other than Emma Watson in the lead. She's a limited actor and I think she lacks the spirit Belle needs...
 

Jake Lipson

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Elton John isn't a fan of the new movie either:

Elton John said:
The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music up,” he said. “Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn’t have the same impact. The magic and joy were lost. The soundtrack hasn’t had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago, when it was the bestselling album of the year. The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success. I wish I’d been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around and I wasn’t really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect. That makes me extremely sad. I’m so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with the Lion King stage musical.
https://ew.com/movies/2019/10/16/elton-john-new-lion-king-music-huge-disappointment/

He speaks the truth.
 

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