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Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ plummets at box office

New York
CNN Business

“Lightyear” failed to garner enough box office buzz this weekend.

Disney’s Pixar’s latest film – which features the voice work of Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear – opened to an estimated $51 million at the North American box office over the weekend.

This figure is in line with industry expectations, which predicted that the film would make around $70 million. The film has grossed $85.6 million worldwide, according to Disney (DIS).

The film also failed to grab the top spot at the box office, opening at No. 2 behind Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion” second weekend, which grossed around $58. $6 million.

The opening is a disappointing launch for Pixar – one of the most successful and popular studios in all of Hollywood. The animation studio – which has produced hits such as ‘Toy Story’, ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘Finding Nemo’ – has grossed $14.7 billion at the global box office.

To give some context to how “Lightyear” did compared to other Pixar films, it ends up at the end of the openings for the studio. The $51 million opening puts it behind 2017’s “Cars 3,” according to Comscore (SCOR).

So why wasn’t “Lightyear” a bigger hit?

The film is based on characters from the popular “Toy Story” series and it scored 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a solid if not spectacular score. But several factors could have hindered participation.

For starters, it may have been difficult for audiences to know exactly what the movie was about. It’s not quite a “Toy Story” movie since “Lightyear” was marketed as a movie about the man behind the toy rather than the toy itself. In the end, the families might have been confused about the movie and it might have driven them away.

It’s also the first Pixar movie to hit theaters since 2020. The studio’s last three movies — “Soul,” “Luca,” and “Turning Red” — all went straight to Disney+. The choice to stream these films may have prompted audiences to stay home and wait for “Lightyear” to hit Disney+ rather than buy a ticket.

All in all, “Lightyear” may still be able to find an audience over the next two weeks, as there aren’t many family fare hits at the box office right now. Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” — the next big family movie — won’t hit theaters until July 1.

Elsewhere at the box office, “Top Gun: Maverick” continues to do well. The Paramount movie starring Tom Cruise came in third place with $44 million for its fourth weekend. That’s down just 15% from last week.

The film — which had Cruise reprising his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell from 1986’s “Top Gun” — has grossed $885 million worldwide so far.


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