The Lion King hits $1bn box office mark

The Lion King has become the fourth Disney film this year to make $1bn (£821m) in worldwide box office sales.

The Disney remake of the 1994 classic has achieved the feat less than three weeks after being released in cinemas.

The movie, which features the voices of Beyonce and Donald Glover, joins Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel and Aladdin in Disney’s $1bn class of 2019.

As reported by Variety, director Jon Favreau’s version is already the fifth-biggest global release of of the year.

In North America, it has racked up sales of around $361m (£267m) and $638m (£324m) overseas, with cinema-goers in China and Brazil leading the way.

Music was always a big part of The Lion King’s success, with Sir Elton John bagging an Oscar for his performance on Can You Feel the Love Tonight in the original.

He actually fended off competition from himself, twice – The Circle of Life and Hakuna Mata – to take the prize for best original song.

Now a hat-trick of Lion King-related albums feature in the top 10 of the US Soundtracks Chart, which is headed by Beyonce’s star-studded project, The Gift.

Her album of collaborations – with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams and many more – shifted 54,000 equivalent album units in the week ending 25 July, according to Nielsen Music, and also currently sits in second place in the US Billboard 200.

The film’s new official soundtrack is the second most popular record in that genre, having sold 22,000 units, while the original soundtrack by Sir Elton, Tim Rice and Hans Zimmer completes its circle of chart life by returning to the US album chart (#150), 25 years after its first release.