Home Entertainment Local weekend box office – It takes the crown as The Lion King becomes biggest film in SA history

Local weekend box office – It takes the crown as The Lion King becomes biggest film in SA history

2 min read

It’s finally happened. After two whole months, we finally have a movie at the top of the South African box office not named The Lion King! Yes, the Disney remake has finally been dethroned as It: Chapter Two took the top spot with a R.3.6 million debut this weekend past. That is actually not that great of an opening for the Stephen King horror adaptation sequel – in comparison, its predecessor debuted nearly two years ago to the day with a much better R5.1 million take and it opened with only around 60% of the sequel’s theatre count.

Meanwhile, The Lion King may have finally given up its throne this but it just replaced it with another, even bigger one. Before the weekend had even begun properly, the Disney film had already done enough to push its total to R107.6 million, thus eclipsing last year’s Black Panther to become the biggest film in South African box office history. The Lion King may not have had the massive start that Black Panther did, but it held the top spot for two extra weeks allowing it to overtake its fellow Disney production. Adding another R2.4 million to its coffers over the weekend, The Lion King extended that lead as it climbed to R110.1 million total.

There wasn’t much else in the way of standouts as it was a relatively quiet weekend on the charts. We only had two new releases in ensemble drama After the Wedding and local production Back of the Moon. However, both had pretty limited openings and despite the prestige of winning the award for Best South African Feature Film at the 40th Durban International Film Festival, Back of the Moon couldn’t even land in the top ten as it had to settle for eleventh place.

Let’s see what the rest of the South African box office charts looks like:

No.Movie Name Weekend gross Percentage change Local gross Last Week's Position
1It: Chapter Two R3.million NE R3.7 million NE
2The Lion King R2.4 million -38% R110.1 million 1st
3Angel Has Fallen R1.6 million NE R10.8 million NE 2nd
4Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw R1.4 million -27% R37.1 million3rd
5Once Upon a Time in Hollywood R775 604 -38% R2.6 million 4th
6Overcomer R523 919 -36% R1.7 million 6th
7Spider-Man: Far From Home R317 552 -29% R35.1 million 7th
8After the Wedding R277 312 NE R277 312 NE
947 Meters Down: Uncaged R231 461 -48% R1.6 million 6th
10Good Boys R214 110 -32% R672 501 8th

NE = New Entry

Last Updated: September 10, 2019


  1. I haven’t been keeping track of the local cinema earnings, but when I do have a look at the earnings there seems to be quite a bias towards international films doing better than local ones, unless it is something like a Leon Schuster movie. Am I right in saying this or am I just catching the earnings tables at the wrong time?


    • Kervyn Cloete

      September 10, 2019 at 16:24

      You are 100% correct in your assumption. We very rarely see a local movie earn big. This is especially true due to them just not releasing in anywhere near the same amount of theatres as the big international releases. When local films hit it “big”, it’s usually when they have a very high per theatre average, as opposed to a big overall earning.


      • Gustav Willem Diedericks

        September 10, 2019 at 16:25

        I see. Is it also possible that our local producers/directors make lower-class movies as well, when measured by international standards, or do you think it could be because of the limited releases?


        • Kervyn Cloete

          September 10, 2019 at 16:25

          A little bit of both. We just don’t have the budget to compete, but we do have a habit of sticking to certain genres a bit too much, and doing a really crappy job of them (here’s looking at you, Afrikaans slapstick comedies!). Every once in a while though we get productions like Five Fingers for Marseilles that transcend the industry limitations and give us something that put Hollywood productions to shame.


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