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Weekend Box Office: Moneyball comes in second to Lion King 3D

HollywoodNews.com: Defying even the most optimistic of predictions, The Lion King 3D (HERE for the film’s big not-so-fatal flaw) repeated at the top of the box office this weekend. The shockingly popular 3D-converted re-release dropped just 26% in its second weekend, grossing $22.1 million in what was allegedly the last weekend of its ‘limited engagement’.

I cannot imagine Disney not keeping this one in theaters until it plays out naturally, as we could easily be looking at a $100 million domestic total for the refurbished 17-year old cartoon. The Lion King 3D now has $61.6 million, giving the film a $389 million domestic total. Once it gets past $67 million, it will surpass the 1997 re-release of The Empire Strikes Back and become the second-biggest re-release of all time, behind the $137 million gross of Star Wars: Special Edition.

Unless Disney does pull the movie next Friday, it should pass $400 million at the end of next weekend, putting it within spitting distance of the $410 million domestic total of Toy Story 3. The $441 million domestic total for Shrek 2 seems out of reach for the moment, but we’ll know for sure by the end of next weekend.

Again, there is no reason to assume that every 3D-converted rerelease coming down the pike in the next year will perform like this one, anymore than other nationwide anniversary re-releases were expected to match the astonishing 1997 Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition roll outs (HERE for a review of the Star Wars Blu Ray set). Considering this release was basically a glorified advertisement for the October 4th Blu Ray release, Disney is basically pulling pure profit on this one.

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