Pixar’s “Lightyear” achieved a domestic opening of $51 million, the best performance by an animated film since the pandemic began.
Internationally, the Disney film earned $34.6 million in ticket sales, bringing its worldwide receipts to $85.6 million.
The animated film’s performance, while solid for a pandemic release, fell short of expectations. Box office analysts had predicted “Lightyear” would gross $70 million to $85 million domestically.
Expectations were high as the last two films in the Toy Story franchise opened with more than $100 million in ticket sales, according to data from Comscore. “Toy Story 4” in 2019 topped $120 million when it opened domestically, and “Toy Story 3” made more than $110 million when it opened in 2010.
“‘Lightyear’ had a lot of potential on paper, but a number of factors led to this rare box office flop for a Pixar release,” said Shawn Robbins, chief media analyst for BoxOffice.com.
It’s unclear whether stiff box office competition from Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion,” which grossed $58.6 million over the weekend, and Paramount and Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” which earned an additional $44 million, was the reason “Lightyear” is smaller. -opening than expected or if consumers were confused about the movie’s release.
After all, there hasn’t been a theatrical release of a Pixar movie since 2020’s “Onward.” Disney+ streaming.
“Did the movie open up to a market that was too full of male films? Robin asked. “Was marketing ineffective in pitching the idea of this movie to two generations of Toy Story fans? Has Disney’s strategy of diverting Pixar movies directly to streaming failed in recent years and damaged brand equity?
“These are just some of the valid questions that we, and Disney in particular, need to consider,” he said.
Robbins noted that cinema has clearly recovered in 2022, attracting demographics previously reluctant to return. However, one of the most trusted franchises of the pre-pandemic era fell short of expectations.
“It was a good old-fashioned summer vacation movie weekend in which three movies earned more than $40 million as competition for moviegoers’ attention intensifies,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst. from Comscore. Newcomer ‘Lightyear’ will now build on a longer run in theaters following a debut album that left some disappointed. »
Dergarabedian said word of mouth should help draw families to theaters in the coming weeks before Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” opens.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is the distributor of “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”