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Ban on ‘Lighter’ won’t have a major impact on global box office performance

Buzz Lightyear and his robot partner Sox embark on an intergalactic adventure in Pixar’s Lightyear.

Disney

More than a dozen Asian and Middle Eastern countries will not screen Disney’s Lighter in theaters due to the animated same-sex kiss, but the ban probably won’t have a major impact on the film’s global box office performance.

Lightyear is the fifth film in Pixar’s Toy Story franchise and tells the story of the film that inspired Buzz Lightyear’s toy line. Chris Evans (Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) voices the main character, the legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear.

In the film, Buzz’s close friend is a female space ranger who married a woman. During the montage of milestones in the life of a couple, a short kiss occurs between them.

Countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates have decided not to release the film. It is also expected that China will not make the film available.

However, these markets are not decisive for Lightyear’s worldwide distribution, judging by Pixar’s past work.

Toy Story 4, released in 2019, has grossed over $1 billion worldwide. The United States and Canada account for the largest portion of ticket sales, accounting for 40% of the film’s total box office, or about $434 million, according to Comscore. China accounted for just 3%, about $32.5 million, while Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates accounted for less than 2%, or less than $20 million.

“While every dollar counts in offsetting production, marketing and distribution costs, the impact of a Pixar film like Lightyear being unplayable in some countries is unlikely to make a big difference to the bottom line, the data shows us. ,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst at Comscore.

Dergabedian noted that Pixar films are among the most consistent at the box office and have been part of “the fabric of American cinematic culture” for decades.

“With the exception of Coco, Pixar films have recently earned 40 to 50 percent of their worldwide revenue in North America alone,” added Sean Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “For various reasons, the cultural translation of these films continues to target domestic markets, while other Hollywood blockbusters often generate about two-thirds or more of their worldwide box office receipts from international markets.”

Toy Story 3, released in 2010, has not been released in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, or China, and has generated over $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales so far. The domestic box office accounted for 41% of those sales, or about $415 million.

The animated film is expected to fetch between $70 million and $85 million during its domestic debut this weekend.

“Pixar has a history of high expectations and we’ve seen clear demand from adults, many of whom are parents, to return to theaters over the last couple of months,” Robbins said. “With Father’s Day in full swing and a dearth of high-profile animated films over the past two years, Lightyear may be poised to exceed expectations as easily as it could otherwise turn out to be more modest than some of Pixar’s biggest hits. “


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