First re-release since 'Star Wars' to hit Number One spot

Disney’s re-release of The Lion King has opened at the top of the North American Box Office chart, taking in a total of $29.3 million (£18.6 million).

The figure was more than the combined total of the three new movies released – Drive, I Don’t Know How She Does It and the remake of Straw Dogs – and twice that of last week’s Number One, Contagion.

Thanks to the 3D conversion the African-set cartoon is climbing up the all-time box office chart and if it makes a further $70m across the globe it will enter the top 20. It is currently seated in 28th place with a worldwide total of $825.7 million (£524.5 million).

The Lion King became the first re-release to hit the top spot in almost 15 years. The last to do so was the re-release of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

Elsewhere in the charts, Steven Soderbergh‘s all star cast of Contagion – including Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Matt Damon – continued to do well, pulling in a further $14.8 million (£9.4 million) in its second week.

The highest ‘new’ new release belonged to Drive. The Ryan Gosling starring crime thriller opened in third, with a total of $11 million (£6.9 million). The film’s director Nicolas Refn picked up the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Director earlier this year.

The remake of Straw Dogs and the Sarah Jessica Parker film, I Don’t Know How She Does It, both opened poorly with $5 million (£3.1 million) a piece.

For more Box Office stats visit Box Office Mojo. The Lion King 3D is due for release in the UK on October 7.