Lion King 3D Smashes Box Office Competition on First Day

Lion King 3D grossed an estimated $8.8 million at the domestic box office in its first day sales and is expecting to pull in $25 million in its opening weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Although critics did not seem to see many changes between the 2004 release and the 3D adaptation, fans came out in droves. Some commentators, however, have said that the 3D experience did not seem to add to the movie.

"The 3-D doesn’t add much - only depth - to this film, which won a couple of Oscars upon its release. A wildebeest or hyena almost falls into your lap here and there," Roger Moore wrote in the Orlando Sentinel.

The National Post’s Katherine Monk seemed to think the 3D addition was nothing more than a marketing strategy.

"The only difference is the third dimension, which means this new release of The Lion King, hitting theaters for a two-week engagement starting Sept. 16, is either just a clever marketing ploy to crank out some extra cash at the box office for a studio with a reduced slate, or it’s an earnest salute to a new era of technology….In truth, it feels like a little bit of both," Monk said in a recent review.

Disney is gearing up for a Diamond Blu-Ray release of the film on Oct. 4. However, the 3D adaptation will be in theaters for two weeks before the official Blu-Ray version goes on sale.

The movie is the highest grossing hand-drawn animation film of all time. During Saturday, THR reported that it grossed an estimated $328.5 million domestically, $788.2 million worldwide and $10 million in Latin America.

The Lion King 3D was followed in sales by Drive which grossed $4 million in its first day at the box office.