Lightyear, the latest film from Pixar and Disney, was unexpectedly beaten at the domestic box office by Jurassic World: Dominion over Father’s Day weekend.
For the first time since the epidemic began, three major Hollywood tentpoles are performing consistently well at the box office (Top Gun: Maverick is the third). As a result, it is expected that domestic sales reached $166 million, down only 18% from 2018.
However, it is unclear if the box office has rebounded sufficiently to sustain so much merchandise.
The anticipated opening weekend gross for Lightyear was between $70 and $85 million. A disappointing $51 million was taken in by the Toy Story spinoff from 4,255 cinemas.
In spite of the fact that this is the largest opening of the year for an animated family film, Buzz Lightyear’s beginning is disappointing given the film’s association with the legendary Pixar brand.
Lightyear’s international debut brought in $34.6 million from 43 markets for a total of $85.6 million.
Because of the same s** kiss, the film was prohibited in some Middle Eastern countries, notably Saudi Arabia, and is unlikely to be released in China.
Originally deleted from the film due to controversy over Disney’s handling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and a statement from Pixar employees alleging that Disney had been suppressing “overtly gay affection,” the sequence with the female character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her partner was reintroduced.
Jurassic World Devours Dominion
Multiple box office smashes have audiences flocking to theatres around the country this summer. Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World: Dominion have been the top earners at the cinema office recently, but a new animated feature was predicted to rocket to the top of the charts this weekend.
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Lightyear, the first theatrically released Pixar movie since 2015′s Onward, is a reimagining of the Buzz Lightyear character made popular by the Toy Story films. Lightyear’s opening weekend grossed an estimated $51 million, well below the $70 million to $80 million that was expected.
— Jurassic World Dominion (@JurassicWorld_) April 28, 2022
The Toy Story spin-off was unable to compete with Jurassic World: Dominion, which earned over $58 million in its second weekend to remain at the top of the domestic box office.
Dominion has made over $600 million worldwide and is quickly approaching the $250 million domestic barriers, but it still has a long way to go before it can compete with 2018’s Jurassic World: the Fallen Kingdom, which earned $1.3 billion.
Dominion is now the fourth highest-grossing movie in the U.S. for the whole year of 2022, after The Batman, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Top Gun: Maverick.
With an additional $44 million in domestic earnings, the success of Maverick, the sequel to the blockbuster Top Gun, shows no signs of slowing down.
On the Father’s Day weekend, Maverick placed third, adding to its lead as the highest-grossing domestic film of 2022. Now that it has grossed over $466 million, Tom Cruise is going to be very difficult for any other film to overtake at the domestic box office.
Globally, Maverick has grossed $818 million, which is getting close to the $942 million earned by Multiverse of Madness. Not much longer, and “Maverick” Pete Mitchell would have soared past “Strange” Doctor Strange to become the worldwide box office king.
Lightyear’s Soft Opening Impact on Future Pixar
Lightyear’s opening weekend was the best for an animated film since the epidemic, but it still fell short of what Pixar had hoped for. Lightyear was the first serious attempt by the legendary animation studio to release a large-scale summer blockbuster, and it reportedly cost $200 million to make.
Adapting a beloved character from Toy Story and casting Chris Evans(Instagram) as the lead actor felt like a surefire recipe for box office success. Despite having one of the highest audience approval ratings of any Pixar picture (86%) and one of the lowest critic approval ratings (77%) ever, the film received an A- CinemaScore.
Lightyear may have had a weaker opening than expected due to poor word of mouth and a crowded box office.
The question now is whether or not Lightyear’s box office success will force Pixar to change its release schedule. To the dismay of the studio’s filmmakers, their last three films were all delivered directly to Disney+(Twitter).
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All three films (Soul, Luca, and Turning Red) were warmly welcomed by audiences and critics alike, but Pixar ultimately decided against a theatrical distribution in the United States.
In the year following the release of Lightyear, Pixar plans to rest before releasing Elemental on June 16, 2023. If Pixar decides to once again broadcast its movies exclusively via streaming services, the film’s planned theatrical release could be canceled.
The future of Pixar movies in theatres could depend on how well the second half of Lightyear does, but it has a tough road ahead with movies like Elvis, Minions: The Rise of Gru, and Thor: Love and Thunder coming out soon.