Who would ever have imagined that the reappearance of a 17-year-old movie would become the fourth-biggest September box office hit of all time? But that is what has happened as Disney's 3D version of The Lion King opened with $30.2 million, behind only 2002's Sweet Home Alabama , ($35.6 million), 1998's Rush Hour , ($33.0 million), and 2009's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ($30.3 million). Disney executives may now be kicking themselves for their decision to bring the movie back to theaters for only two weeks before releasing it on Blu-ray disc on October 4. There does not appear to be even any wiggle room between the theatrical and Home Video releases. Among the new films, the critically praised Drive fared the best, but its $11.3 million was hardly worthy of cheers. It wound up in third place (behind the second week of Contagion , which slipped to second place with $14.6 million). Still, it was better than Straw Dogs, which opened in fifth place with just $5.1 million. And I Don't Know How She Does It didn't do much at all, as it tanked with $4.4 million.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. The Lion King 3D , Disney, $30,151,614, (New); 2. Contagion, Warner Bros., $14,548,433, 2 Wks. ($44,260,524); 3. Drive , Film District, $11,340,461, (New); 4. The Help, Disney, $6,513,039, 6 Wks. ($147,439,793); 5. Straw Dogs , Sony, $5,123,760, (New); 6. I Don't Know How She Does It , Weinstein Co. $4,402,201, (New); 7. The Debt, Focus, $2,942,631, 3 Wks. ($26,564,431); 8. Warrior , Lionsgate, $2,860,325, 2 Wks. ($10,002,625); 9. Rise of the Planet Of The Apes, 20th Century Fox, $2,658,131, 7 Wks. ($171,651,537); 10. Colombiana , Sony/Tristar, $2,330,291, 4 Wks. ($33,377,523).