| In Summary:
- The Lion King prequel, Mufasa: The Lion King shifts from July 5, 2024, to December 20, 2024, amid industry reshuffling post-SAG-AFTRA strike.
- The new release date pits it against Sonic the Hedgehog 3, leveraging the holiday season’s box office potential for family films.
Disney has announced a new release date for Mufasa: The Lion King, redirecting its debut from July 5, 2024, to December 20, 2024. This decision comes in the wake of the recently concluded SAG-AFTRA strike, a historic 118-day event that significantly impacted the film industry.
Following the strike’s resolution, numerous productions are resuming, prompting a substantial reorganization of the 2024 film schedule. Mufasa: The Lion King is not the only film affected, as it joins the ranks of others like the live-action Snow White, initially slated for 2024 but now pushed to 2025 due to the strike.
The shift positions Mufasa: The Lion King against Sonic the Hedgehog 3, both set to hit theaters on the same day. While the delay might disappoint some fans, the new release date strategically places the film in the holiday season, historically known for being a lucrative period for family features. The success of previous holiday releases, like Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, underscores the potential benefits of this timing.
Serving as a prequel to Disney’s 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King, Mufasa: The Lion King delves into the backstory of the iconic character. As well as his ascent to becoming the king of Pride Rock. Directed by Barry Jenkins, Aaron Pierre voices a younger Mufasa and Kelvin Harrison Jr. voices Scar. Returning to their roles are Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Kani as Pumbaa, Timon, and Rafiki, respectively. Despite the anticipation, details about the film remain tightly under wraps, with no trailer release on the immediate horizon.
The Lion King franchise, particularly the 2019 CGI remake, has been a massive financial success for Disney, grossing over $1.6 billion globally and ranking as the ninth highest-grossing film of all time. The decision to shift Mufasa: The Lion King to a December release marks a departure from the summer strategy employed by its predecessor, potentially offering a unique opportunity for the prequel to stand out in the competitive holiday movie landscape.