Chris Evans voices Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s Lightyear.
Pixar’s Lightyear soared to $51 million domestically, the best animated film since the pandemic began.
Internationally, Disney’s film had $34.6 million in ticket sales, bringing it to $85.6 million in global revenue.
The animated film’s performance, while good for a pandemic release, fell short of expectations. Box office analysts predicted Lightyear would gross $70 million to $85 million domestically.
Expectations were high as ticket sales for the last two films in the Toy Story franchise exceeded $100 million, according to Comscore. Toy Story 4 topped $120 million in 2019 during its domestic debut, and Toy Story 3 made over $110 million during its 2010 opening.
“Lightyear had a lot of potential on paper, but a number of factors led to this very rare box office misfire for a Pixar release,” said Sean Robbins, chief media analyst at BoxOffice.com.
It’s unclear if the fierce competition at the box office with Universal’s Jurassic World: Dominion, which grossed $58.6 million over the weekend, and Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick, which grossed another $44 million, was the reason why “Lighter” has become smaller. opening than expected, or if consumers were confused about the movie’s release.
After all, there hasn’t been a single theatrical release since the release of Pixar’s 2020 film Onward. The latest three from the animation studio, “Soul”, “Luka” and “Blushing”, were released on the Disney+ streaming service.
“The film opened in a market too crowded with films made by men?” Robbins asked. “Was marketing ineffective in getting the idea of this film across to both generations of Toy Story fans? Hasn’t Disney’s strategy of pumping Pixar movies straight to streaming over the past two years hurt the brand’s value?”
“These are just some of the important questions that we, and especially Disney, need to consider,” he said.
Robbins noted that theater attendance has clearly rebounded in 2022, attracting demographics that have not returned before. However, one of the most reliable pre-pandemic franchises fell short of expectations.
“It’s been a good old summer holiday movie weekend with three films making over $40 million as the competition for moviegoers’ attention heats up,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “Rookie ‘Lightyear’ will now rely on a longer trajectory in theaters after a debut that didn’t impress some.”
Dergarabedian said word of mouth should help bring families to theaters in the weeks leading up to 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.