‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ scores biggest-ever debut for Quentin Tarantino; ‘The Lion King’ stays on top

(NEW YORK) — Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — which boasts an all-star ensemble cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt — set a record for writer/director Quentin Tarantino, debuting this weekend in second place with an estimated $40.35 million.  That makes it the largest opening weekend ever for a Tarantino film, topping his previous high of 38 million with 2009’s Inglourious Basterds

By comparison, 1994’s Pulp Fiction, which remains Tarantino’s best-known and arguably most popular film, debuted with $9.3 million in 1,338 theaters — about $16 million in today’s dollars.  Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opened in 3,659 theaters and earned an average $11,000 or so per location.  Had it opened in the same number of locations as did Pulp Fiction, its estimated opening gross would have been $14.75 million, less than Pulp Fiction‘s debut when adjusted for inflation.

The Lion King topped the box office for the second weekend in a row with an estimated $75 million, bringing its domestic total to $351 million. Overseas, Disney’s live-action remake of the 1994 animated classic racked up an estimated $142.8 million, for a worldwide tally of $962.7 million.

Third place belonged to Spider-Man: Far from Home, delivering an estimated $12.2 million and bringing its domestic gross to just under $345 million. It earned an estimated $21 million internationally, making it the ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to top $1 billion and the third this year, joining Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. Far from Home is also the only Spider-Man movie to eclipse $1 billion. 

Pixar’s Toy Story 4 took fourth place with an estimated $9.87 million, bringing its stateside totals to $395.6. Overseas, the animated feature added an estimated $19.4 million, bringing its global tally to $917.9 million and making it the fourth largest Pixar release globally of all-time.

The thriller Crawl rounded out the top five with an estimated $4 million in its third week of release.

Elsewhere, Disney’s Aladdin passed the $1 billion global earnings mark — the first film of Will Smith’s career to accomplish that. 

Marvel and Pixar are both owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Here are the top 10 movies Friday through Sunday, with estimated domestic box office earnings:

1. The Lion King, $75.5 million
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, $40.35 million
3. Spider-Man: Far from Home, $12.2 million
4. Toy Story 4, $9.87 million
5. Crawl, $4 million
6. Yesterday, $3 million
7. Aladdin, $2.788 million
8. Stuber, $1.679 million
9. Annabelle Comes Home, $1.6 million
10. The Farewell, $1.55 million

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