Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ Makes $51 Million in Domestic Opening

Chris Evans voices Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s “Lightyear”.

Disney

Pixar’s “Lightyear” made a $51 million domestic debut, the best performance of an animated feature since the pandemic began.

internationally, Disney The film raised $34.6 million in ticket sales, bringing its global sales to $85.6 million.

The performance of the animated film, while gearing up for a pandemic release, is below expectations. Box office analysts estimated “Lightyear” to fetch between $70 million and $85 million domestically.

According to comScore data, expectations were high as the last two films in the Toy Story franchise raked in more than $100 million in ticket sales. “Toy Story 4” topped $120 million in its domestic debut in 2019, and “Toy Story 3” grossed over $110 million during its 2010 debut.

“‘Lightear’ had great potential on paper, but a number of factors resulted in this very rare box office misfire for a Pixar release,” said Sean Robbins, chief media analyst at BoxOffice.com.

It is not clear that the tough box office competition Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion,” which earned $58.6 million over the weekend, and of great quality And Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick”, which fetched another $44 million, caused a lower-than-expected opening for “Lightyears” or if consumers were confused about the film’s release.

After all, a Pixar film hasn’t had a theatrical release since 2020’s “Onward.” The animation studio’s final three, “Soul,” “Luca” and “Turning Red,” were all released on the streaming service Disney+.

“Did this film open in a market that was crowded with male-oriented films?” Robbins asked. “Was marketing ineffective in introducing the idea of ​​this movie to both generations of Toy Story fans? Has Disney’s strategy of directly streaming Pixar movies over the past two years reversed and hurt the value of the brand? ?”

“These are some valid questions, and Disney in particular has to consider,” he said.

Robbins noted that there is a clear return to film viewing in 2022, drawing in demographics that have previously been reticent to return. Nevertheless, one of the most reliable franchises from the pre-pandemic times missed expectations.

Paul Dergarbadian, senior media analyst at comScore, said, “It was a good old-fashioned summer vacation movie weekend, with three films grossing over $40 million, as competition intensifies for moviegoers’ attention. It was done.” “Newcomer ‘Lightyear’ will now embark on a long trajectory in theaters, which has left some overwhelmed.”

Dergarabedian said word of mouth should help attract families to theaters in the coming weeks ahead of the release of Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is the distributor of “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru”.