Disney’s Toy Story 4 drew an estimated $14.2 million Monday, taking its four-day total to $135.1M. It will continue to conquer the box office into this weekend with $60M-$70M ( a 40%-50% drop) before Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home brings another flood of cash in next Tuesday.
Toy Story 4‘s first Monday is the fourth best for a Disney animated film after Incredibles 2 ($23.6M), Finding Dory ($19.5M) and Toy Story 3 ($15.6M).
Some in the distribution community have expressed concerned there’s a sequelitis funk in the marketplace after Toy Story 4 came in under its $140M-plus projections. Sequelitis really isn’t to blame here as audiences showed in bulk that they made Toy Story 4 the biggest domestic opening in the 24-year old Pixar franchise. Disney-reported Monday actuals came in at $120.9M for the weekend, higher than the $118M the studio was originally observing Sunday morning. The latest string of sequel flops — Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Dark Phoenix and Men in Black: International — can be pegged to old brands working off largely old formulas.
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As we overwrote all weekend, Toy Story 4‘s came in under its $140M+ projections for several reasons: First, Disney decided not to play over the lucrative Father’s Day weekend (some analysts believe $5M-$15M was left on the table), and many in distribution were comparing Toy Story 4 to the uber-record domestic debut success of Incredibles 2 ($182.6M). They’re two different movies — the former a female-skewing property and the latter a male, fanboy IP. Also, there were some tea leaves out there that indicated Toy Story 4 could come in under Dory and Incredibles 2: While first day ticket presales for Toy Story 4 bested Incredibles 2, we heard from exhibitors recently that heading into the weekend, the fourthquel fell behind presales for Dory.
Anyway, all of this is splicing hairs, and it’s like saying that Cody Bellinger hit a home run into the stands instead of the parking lot. Toy Story 4 is expected to make its way to $400M, and the pic’s $244.5M global weekend is a record opening for an animated movie, higher than Incredibles 2‘s $235.8M.
When it comes to sequels, Pixar spaces them out considerably so as to stoke generations and drive them to the multiplex. Hopefully, in the case of New Line’s Annabelle Comes Home, they’re not slowly killing The Conjuring universe by OD-ing fans on spinoffs. We had The Nun back in September, then in May came The Curse of La Llorona, which while not part of The Conjuring technically (except for the character of Father Perez) was positioned and marketed “from the producers of The Conjuring universe” (Nonetheless, La Llorona profitwise did well, made for $9M before P&A and earning close to $127M WW).
This weekend, Annabelle Comes Home, which has cameos by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga’s paranormal investigators the Warrens, is seeing $30M-$35M from Wednesday to Sunday. Older males because it’s an R-rated horror film are expected to be there, with hopes that young females show up too (Child’s Play’s second biggest demo after men were females under 25 last weekend). Previews start tonight at 6 PM, with a theater count at 3,525 for Wednesday and Thursday, growing to 3,587 on Friday.
The last Annabelle, a prequel, Annabelle: Creation, carried a dismal August box office back in 2017 with a $35M opening and $102M final domestic. Annabelle Comes Home reps the feature of directorial debut of Gary Dauberman, who wrote the first Annabelle and adapted the Stephen King It pics for the screen. The Warrens bring the evil doll back to their artifacts room in their home, and Annabelle creates havoc by creating stirring up a lot of evil stuff, and well, it’s Judy’s turn to cry in this threequel. She’s the Warrens’ 10-year-old daughter whom Annabelle torments. Annabelle Comes Home is 66% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, under Creation‘s 70% fresh and above Annabelle‘s 29% Rotten. Annabelle Comes Home was made for an estimated $27M before P&A.
Universal on Friday is counter-programming with the Working Title romantic Beatles-themed musical Yesterday from director Danny Boyle and Love Actually scribe Richard Curtis. Himesh Patel plays a man who goes through an accident and awakes in a world where no one has heard of the Beatles. He begins to sing all their songs, and becomes a huge recording artist. The pic closed the Tribeca Film Festival, and Universal has been having several word-of-mouth screening in an effort to make this a solid second choice at the summer box office to anything tentpole. Estimates are between $10M-$14M for three days, with females and the 25+ crowd likely to dominate.
Critics are so-so on the film at 63% fresh, but the pic’s greatest power is that it’s a musical. Critics stained The Greatest Showman at 55% Rotten, and that pic went on to make $174.3M during the holiday period.
Sony Pictures Classics in limited release has the Alex Holmes documentary Maiden in New York and Los Angeles. Pic tells the story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats, who became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989. Maiden will play the Hollywood Arclight and NY’s Landmark 57 West, Cinemas 1-2-3, the Angelika, and the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn.
Deadline’s Brian Brooks will have a full specialty preview toward the end of the week.
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