Despite being blasted by Pixar CEO Steve Jobs, Disney’s direct-to-video sequel, The Lion King 1-1/2, posted first day sales of 1.5 million units, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Consumers were obviously intrigued by the prospect of seeing the Lion King story retold from the perspective of characters Timon and Pumbaa, the original film’s comic relief. Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella reprise their roles as the warthog and meerkat pair. The project was written by Tom Rogers, directed by Brad Raymond and produced by George Mendoza.
The original Lion King, which hit theaters in 1994, went on to sell more than 55 million units on VHS and DVD. If the pace keeps up for 1 1/2, the movie should prove a financially worthy follow-up and prove that the property has legs as a franchise after the moderate success of the video release The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride.