Box office: ‘Lightyear’ eyes open at number 2 below ‘Jurassic World 3’

Infinity isn’t a practical box office milestone, so Disney’s “Lightyear” will have to settle for a $20.7 million opening day and beyond.

Pixar’s “Toy Story” spinoff series took off on Thursday night with a respectable $5.2 million in previews. However, the film is now tracking to fall short of initial expectations, which initially pinned the film to an opening between $70 million and $80 million in 4,255 theaters across North America. What’s more, “Lightyear” is struggling to knock Universal’s “Jurassic World Dominion” off the top of the domestic charts during the dino-sequel’s second weekend.

There are certainly winning ways to look at the opening of “Lightyear,” as its $52 million projection would easily mark the biggest opening for an animated film since the start of the pandemic in North America. Family audiences have been a little scared to return to the big screen with the reopening of multiplexes, which has prompted Disney to rethink its release strategy, opting not to feature in Pixar’s three most recent animated films – “Soul”, ” Luca” and “Turning”. Red” — and instead debuting them directly on the company’s Disney+ streamer to bolster subscriptions. After spending more than two years away from theaters, a $52 million opening would show that Pixar still has a place on the big screen.

However, it’s not hard to imagine that Disney was looking to make a bigger impact with “Lightyear.” The spin-off may not earn even half of 2019’s $120.9 million “Toy Story 4” opening, even if the sci-fi movie is a spinoff of the Pixar franchise.

With a production budget of $200 million, “Lightyear” has a long way to go before it safely lands in the black. The film seems to gain an extra boost from family audiences through Saturday matinees and Father’s Day Sunday deals. Critics were generally favorable, as the film garnered an aggregate approval percentage of 61% from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences seem to like the film as well, with “Lightyear” earning an “A-” Cinema Score, indicating generally strong approval.

“Lightyear” focuses on the origin of the character Buzz Lightyear, who was first in a movie before being turned into the action figure who befriended Woody in “Toy Story.” Within the “Toy Story” canon, the character Andy saw “Lightyear” and purchased a Buzz Lightyear toy as merchandise. Now, audiences in our world can see the movie that fired Andy’s imagination.

Chris Evans takes on the voice of creator Tim Allen, and the film also features the voices of Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. .

If current projections for “Lightyear” hold, “Jurassic World Dominion” could repeat itself as the domestic box office predator.

Universal projects its sixth entry in the “Jurassic” series will be down 61% from its massive $143 million debut last weekend, taking in $57.1 million in the three-day window. That’s a slightly steeper drop than what the franchise’s last two entries faced in their second weekends; 2015’s “Jurassic World” is down 49%, while 2018’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is down 58.8%.

Even so, the $57.8 million projection for “Dominion” could be enough to secure a second weekend at the top of the domestic charts. The dinosaur sequel is set to expand its domestic gross to nearly $250 million by Sunday, already safely in the top four grossing films at the domestic box office in 2022.

“Top Gun: Maverick” also continues to run smoothly. Paramount is projecting a phenomenal 23% drop for the three-day window, adding a gross of $40 million.

The Tom Cruise sequel has become a true cinematic phenomenon since it topped the Memorial Day weekend box office record with a four-day opening of $160 million. Since then, the film has enjoyed weekly drops of less than 50%, an unusually low number for theatrical blockbusters. “Maverick” rode the wave of spectacular word-of-mouth, becoming the highest-grossing US release of 2022 this week, surpassing Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” And with the business still growing, the sky seems to be the limit for “Maverick”.

Speaking of “Doctor Strange,” the superhero sequel looks set to take fourth place on the domestic charts this weekend. The Marvel Cinematic Universe entry added $1.1 million on Friday, expanding its domestic gross to $401 million.

Disney and 20th Century Studios’ “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” should complete the top five. The long-running animated series adaptation is expected to surpass $30 million domestic revenue by Monday.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: