To infinity and beyond? Not exactly…
“Lightyear,” a spin-off story set in Pixar’s “Toy Story” universe, failed to hit that boundless milestone on its box office debut, grossing $51 million from 4,255 North American theaters. . Family audiences, the film’s main demographic, have not returned to theaters in force since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, those ticket sales are disappointing for a brand as recognizable as Pixar, home of “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and “Up.” This is especially problematic given that “Lightyear” cost $200 million to produce and tens of millions more to market.
Before the weekend, the Disney film was expected to generate at least $70 million. But his ambitions were thwarted by increased competition from Universal’s “Jurassic World Dominion” juggernaut and Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” as well as a little plot to watch a slightly esoteric origin story about Buzz Lightyear, which had only a tenuous connection to the four films in the popular kid-friendly franchise. With its wobbly takeoff, “Lightyear” landed in second place, becoming one of the few Pixar films not to take the top spot at the domestic box office.
Internationally, “Lightyear” earned $34.6 million in 43 markets, bringing its worldwide total to $85.6 million. The film was banned in smaller overseas markets, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, because it depicts a gay kiss.
Notably, “Lightyear” is the first Pixar film to hit the big screen in more than two years – since “Onward” in March 2020. During the pandemic, three of the animation studio’s titles – “Soul”, “Luca” and “Turning Red” – skipped theaters and landed straight on Disney+, leaving some box office analysts to wonder if consumers have been trained to watch Pixar movies at home. Other industry experts argue ask if Disney relies too much on brand recognition and not enough on execution It’s not that people didn’t like the film, which landed an “A-” CinemaScore and 77% on Rotten Tomatoes. But Disney was certainly hoping that more ticket buyers would feel compelled to see “Lightyear” in theaters this weekend.
“This is a soft opening for a spin-off of one of the most successful animated series of all time,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment. Research. He notes, “’Toy Story’ has defied gravity at the box office for its 27 years, with each episode surpassing the last, with the last two grossing a billion dollars worldwide. But like all spin-offs, ‘Lightyear”s story is narrower now.
Even with a colossal 60% drop, “Jurassic World Dominion” managed to capture the box office crown again in a surprise upset. Universal’s prehistoric sequel grossed $58.6 million from 4,697 theaters in its second weekend of release, bringing its domestic total to $259 million.
In third place, “Top Gun: Maverick” continues to fly high with a whopping $44 million from 4,035 locations in North America, marking a slight 15% drop from last weekend. These box office returns are particularly significant because the film has been in theaters for a month. Only one other movie that debuted in wide release has generated more in its fourth weekend at the box office – “Avatar,” with $50 million. To date, the sequel to 1986’s “Top Gun” has grossed $466 million in the United States and Canada and $885 million worldwide, making the film the biggest blockbuster of Tom Cruise’s long career.
Disney’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” took fourth place with $4.2 million from 2,455 locations. After seven weekends on the big screen, the Marvel comic book sequel has amassed an impressive $405.1 million in North America. However, the “Strange” sequel is no longer the highest-grossing film of the year in the United States. That title now belongs to Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
Another Disney movie, “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” rounds out the top five. The film, a big-screen sequel to the popular TV series, grossed $1.1 million from 1,350 theaters. After four weekends of release, “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” has grossed $29 million at the domestic box office.
Although “Lightyear” was the only new film to be released nationwide, several films – including the Focus Features comedy “Brian and Charles” and IFC’s “Official Competition” – were released in limited release.
A Sundance favorite that didn’t resonate beyond Park City, “Brian and Charles” was highly praised upon its box office debut. The feel-good flick, directed by Jim Archer and starring David Earl, grossed just $198,000 from 279 theaters, or $711 per location.
Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas star in the “Official Competition,” which generated $34,000 at four theaters across the country ($8,500 per theater). The well-reviewed film, about a wealthy businessman who hires a neurotic director to produce his passion project, is expanding to multiplexes in Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. next week before landing nationwide. country on July 1.
“We are so thrilled to have this comedic gem connected to American audiences and look forward to its successful rollout,” said IFC Films President Arianna Bocco.
Subscribe to the Variety newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Click here to read the full article.