Lion King Exiled From Throne By Dolphin Tale

October 3, 2011 by

It looked like back-to-back domestic box office champ The Lion King was well on its way to a three-peat during its 3D re-release run, but much like how The Help unexpectedly turned the tables on Rise of the Planet of the Apes a couple months ago, a holdover surprisingly dethroned Simba. The new ruler of the box office and animal kingdom is Dolphin Tale, which was propelled by strong word-of-mouth in its second weekend to jump from third place and switch spots with Oscar-winning and record-breaking The Lion King, which brought its grand total to over $400 million and ousted Spider-Man from the all-time Top 10 list. The exile of Simba & friends is probably related to Disney’s Blu-Ray release of the film last week, which was supposed to coincide with the end of the re-release theatrical run but was extended in light of its current box office success.

Despite Dolphin Tale‘s win, it still trails releasemate Moneyball, which maintained its runner-up status. Fourth place was a three-horse race between newcomers 50/50, Courageous, and Dream House. Final numbers indicate that the cancer dramedy 50/50 was edged out by Christian drama Courageous by a hair. Meanwhile, Anna Faris comedy What’s Your Number? bombed at No. 8 and was the fifth lowest opening ever for a 3000+ theater film. Next weekend’s round brings a one-two punch from Hugh Jackman’s Real Steel and another Gosling vehicle, The Ides of March, with George Clooney.

Here were the top 5 in the domestic box office last weekend via BOM:

  1. Dolphin Tale — Weekend Gross: $13.9 million — Total Gross: $37.1 million (#3 last week)
  2. Moneyball — Weekend Gross: $12.0 million — Total Gross: $38.0 million (#2 last week)
  3. The Lion King — Weekend Gross: $10.6 million — Total Gross: $79.2 million (re-release), $408.2 million (total) (#1 last week)
  4. Courageous — Weekend Gross: $9.1 million — Total Gross: $9.1 million (new)
  5. 50/50 — Weekend Gross: $8.6 million — Total Gross: $8.6 million (new)