3-D 'Lion King' feels the love with $29.3M opening

By CHRISTY LEMIRE | September 18, 2011 | 12:00 PM EDT

COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photo taken by AP Images for Time Warner Cable, guests pose before a Time Warner Cable and Disney screening of "The Lion King" 3D at The El Capitan Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, in Los Angeles. (Casey Rodgers/AP Images for Time Warner Cable)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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 animated Disney favorite earned a surprising $29.4 million in its first weekend in theaters, according to Sunday estimates. The original film made more than $40 million when it opened nationwide 17 years ago.

Last week's No. 1 movie, Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion," dropped a spot in its second weekend. The Warner Bros. viral thriller made about $14.5 million for a total of $44.2 million.

Among the other new releases, "Drive" came in at No. 3 with just over $11 million. Ryan Gosling stars as a stoic wheelman in this retro action picture from FilmDistrict.