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'Lion King' roars to top in 3-D

It's 1994 all over again, with a re-release of "The Lion King" opening at the top of the box office.

A 3-D version of the wildly popular Disney animated musical earned a surprising $29.3 million in its first weekend in theaters, The Associated Press reports. The original film made more than $40 million when it opened nationwide 17 years ago.

This huge number stunned many people, including the folks at Disney, who figured "The Lion King" would make somewhere between $10 million and $12 million, said Dave Hollis, the studio's executive vice president of distribution.

He said the movie remains relevant and as entertaining as it was when it first came out.

"But taking a page from the movie, there is a 'circle of life' thing happening," he said, referring to one of the film's themes. "You have children of the '90s who are now parents of the 2010s and they themselves are taking their kids to share what was, for them, a great experience two decades ago."

It also helps that there aren't many options for families at the multiplex right now, said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.

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