“Lion King” Reigns in Mighty Come Back

The king is back, “The Lion King” that is.

Walt Disney’s 3-D reissue of the animated film earned $29.3 million over the weekend to reign atop the domestic box office again, 17 years after it first roared into theaters in 1994. Already one of the most successful animated films of all time, “The Lion King” is expected to add a significant amount of money to its more than $800 million worldwide gross. The 3-D version was originally planned for a two-week limited release, but with its performance this weekend, Disney executive vice president for motion picture sales and distribution Dave Hollis said the company may extend the film’s run.

Meanwhile, last week’s box-office champion, “Contagion,” added $14.5 million to its nearly $50-million estimated two-week total, which remains below its $60-million production cost. Ryan Gosling’s action film “Drive” debuted in third place with a modest $11 million, while “The Help” took fourth place with $6.4 million, just ahead of two new releases, “Straw Dogs” and “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” which took $5 million and $4.5 million, respectively.