After 25 years, Disney’s highly anticipated reproduction of ‘The Lion King’ is expected to compel flocks of cinema addicts around the globe at a season when ticket sales are seriously struggling.
According to Box office watchers, it predicted that the studio’s grand return to the Pride Lands could become one of this year’s biggest breakthrough. “The Lion King” is expected to debut with $150 million, though some estimates show that receipts could raise to $180 million.
Given its public debut this weekend, Kenya’s Tourism Board held a closed-door screening of Walt Disney’s ‘The Lion King’.
The animators of the original megahit reportedly visited Kenya to study wildlife and draw realistic inspiration for the characters and landscapes they digitally created.
The first and current sing tune feature historical songs like ‘Hakuna Matata’, meaning “no problems” in the Swahili language.
According to a film buff who was invited to the exclusive premiere Bernard Muriu, he said, “I saw Kenya magically; Magical Kenya represented very well. Hakuna Matata, that’s what I got from there. I am so happy the movie was interesting and I would like to watch it all over and over again.”
Walt Disney Co has taken a high-tech odyssey to reproduce the animated classic with the look of a nature documentary, an update it hopes will attract audiences to a new version of a film considered a masterpiece the first time.
The re-making of the 1994 tale about the lion cub named Simba, which debuts in cinemas around the globe this week, was created with gaming technology and virtual reality, computer animation, plus live-action filmmaking techniques, director Jon Favreau has said.
“The CG (computer-generated images) was able to capture the true reality of Kenya’s beauty, I mean you could be able to tell that was Hell’s Gate if you have visited Hell’s Gate before. So that was quite interesting to see, also very awesome to see them speak Kiswahili as well. I wished to have heard more East African songs I mean since this is an East African story, set in Kenya, but you know you can’t have everything,” Kenyan actor Nick Mutuma.
Recently, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has been executing it’s Magical Kenya’ campaign, which promotes the country as a tourist destination by partnering with the film’s promoters.
“What a platform like this creates for us is for people to understand that we have great places, so some of the locations that inspire this movie are like the Suguta Valley, Aberdares, Chyulu Hills, Chalbi Desert, the Mara, so it is different locations within the destination that people would not ordinarily know that we have. So that is the deficiency for people to shift and understand that we are not just a safari and beach destination and that we have a lot to offer,” said Betty Radier, the KTB CEO.
Disney’s “The Lion King” is already roaring a record of $100 million in ticket orders globally.
Ticket sales are expected to escalate this weekend when “The Lion King” opens in more cinemas worldwide.