'Lion King: 3D' can't wait to top 'Drive,' 'Contagion' at weekend box office

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17 years after its original release, "The Lion King" is on track to top the box office again.

Disney's '90s hit, the highest-grossing hand-drawn animation film of all time, hits theaters this weekend with the 3D treatment, and audiences are surpassing expectations, bringing in an expected $8 million during Friday.

Box Office pundits are divided on how well the film will do, with estimates ranging from $15 million to $24 million, but Friday shows it will end up much closer to the latter.

This puts it well ahead its closest competition, week two of Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion," which slips to the #2 spot. The outbreak thriller, which reportedly has audiences heading straight to wash their hands, is on target o bring in $13 million for the weekend.

Ryan Gosling's dark action-crime-drama "Drive" is off to a solid start, falling just shy of #2, with an expected $10 million for the weekend.

"The Help" holds strong at #4, with $6.7 million expected for the weekend, atop the embarrassingly modest debuts for Sarah Jessica Parker's "I Don't Know How She Does It" ($5 million) and the remake of "Straw Dogs" ($5.2 million).
Photo/Video credit: Disney