4TH UPDATE FINAL Sunday AM writethru, following Saturday 7:35 AM update: The domestic opening for Disney’s Toy Story 4 is still lower than anticipated when this weekend started, going from $136M on Friday mid-day to $123.7M yesterday morning, to a Disney-reported $118M today. Industry estimates are spotting it at $119.5M. Still, Toy Story 4 is the third-highest opening of the year behind Avengers: Endgame ($357.1M) and Captain Marvel ($153.4M), which are, by the way, all Disney films. Toy Story 4‘s global opening of $238M is a record for an animated movie, higher than Incredibles 2‘s $235.8M, and that bodes well for a $900M to $1 billion-plus final worldwide total.
“It’s a huge debut and we’re thrilled about the opening,” beamed Cathleen Taff, Disney President of Distribution and Franchise management this morning, “People love the Toy Story characters and show up for these films.”
Saturday’s $39.6M reps a 16% ease from Friday’s $47.4M, which includes $12M in Thursday previews. That dip is on par with last year’s Incredibles 2. Many believe the lower- than-expected numbers stateside stem from Disney skipping Father’s Day weekend this year, which has long been a Pixar tradition. Understand that during the course of a holiday weekend like that, people still head to the cinema for a big event pic on Friday and Saturday. Disney will return the next Pixar summer pic to Father’s Day weekend next June with Soul, and in 2021 as well.
Why Toy Story 4 didn’t go on Father’s Day weekend this year may have to do with its international territory grab this weekend, and that looks like it’s the case with the global record here for Toy Story 4 and the fourthquel earning $120M from 37 markets, the second-best animated overseas debut behind Fox/Blue Sky’s Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs at $151.6M. Typically, animated pics roll out slowly abroad, capitalizing on school holidays versus the global day and date grab. One reason for going this weekend with Toy Story 4 also came from more kids being on summer break, with 80% K-12 off on Friday, June 14, versus 91% last Friday. Also, Toy Story skews more female and more family than Incredibles 2, another reason why the pic opted to go this weekend. Disney reports that families repped 66% of all moviegoers, with adults at 27% and teens at 7%. Females repped 52% of the audience in the studio’s reported exits with 55% under 25. Meanwhile Imax stateside earned $6.8M for the fourthquel at 408 locations.
Everyone in town is probably ready to ding Disney for coming in lower stateside. But, seriously, what studio wouldn’t want a $118M+ opening right now for a fourthquel? Even though Toy Story 4 is below the $140M that Disney was hoping for, in addition to the hyper aggressive $160M-$200M projections some were spotting above a leading tracking service, the fourthquel’s opening is still remarkable considering the franchise is 24 years old. It’s also ahead of Toy Story 3‘s $110.3M debut. Toy Story 4 has great exits (A CinemaScore, Screen Engine/ComScore PostTrak numbers of 89% in the top two boxes, with an 75% recommend for the general crowd) and that’s going to carry this film through to higher figures until whenever Disney decides to pull it from theaters.
The reason why we saw those $160M-$200M forecasts is because some were running numbers for Toy Story 4 using Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory as comparisons. They also believed that Toy Story 4 was working off the gas of Incredibles 2 and these long-awaited Pixar sequels just crank up openings that beat the previous one (i.e. Finding Dory‘s record animated pic opening of $135M evolves to Incredibles 2’s $182.6M). But remember, Dory and Incredibles 2 were Part 2s that were 13-14 years in the waiting, while Toy Story 4 is, duh, the fourth title in the series, nine years after its last chapter.
Some other things contributing to Toy Story 4 being under the $140M projection: Tracking services (and studios) will argue that when a film arrives on tracking at such a lofty level, $100M-plus forecasts become a challenge to pinpoint. But what we’ve been seeing this summer is that a lot of brand-name titles like Men in Black, Godzilla, and Shaft are over-tracking and under-delivering. This happens cyclically.
The takeaway here from this weekend at least in U.S/Canada: Just because it’s a Disney movie doesn’t mean it can be dated anywhere. It’s going to be very interesting to see what live action Disney toon adaptation sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil does during the third weekend of October, a time typically reserved for a hard genre movie, like last year’s Halloween ($76.2M). Note some even believe that Disney left millions on the table with the opening of Black Panther (!) despite that pic’s massive $242.1M 4-day. Why did that movie open on Friday, Feb. 16, instead of Valentine’s Day, one of the hottest moviegoing days of the year?
Toy Story 4 in PostTrak exits on Friday night drew 55% females to 45% males, 58% moms to 42% dads, and an even split between under-12 girls and boys. Families were out in bulk on Friday night, making up 45% of the crowd to 55%. Updated leading demos for Toy Story 4: Women over 25 (29% with a 91% positive rating), Women under 25 (26% with a 90% rating), Men over 25 (25% with a 86% rating), and Men under 25 (20% with an 89% rating). Diversity breakdown is comprised of 49% Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, 12% African Americans, and 12% Asian. Toy Story 4 played best in the West, Mid-West and South-West, but was great everywhere throughout.
As we detailed on Friday night, Disney rang the bell for Toy Story 4 around the world, partnering with advertisers like Chrysler (animated movies hardly ever have big auto partners, so that’s an amazing hook-up), Go RVing, McDonald’s, Google and more for a promo partner campaign valued at $150M — the highest for a Disney animated film, and a number that’s right up there with Marvel movies.
Social Media metrics on Toy Story 4 per Relish Mix: The fourthquel counts a massive social media universe of 752.7M, dwarfing any other Family/Animated film’s typical SMU of 338.5M. Broken down, Toy Story 4 counts 143.4M Facebook Fans, 98.8M Facebook video views, 47.2M Twitter Followers, 422.9M YouTube views and 40.4M Instagram Followers. Viral video is a massive 32:1 rate, beating the genre’s 18:1 average. “This level was achieved by building out an immense following not just from the previous films, but also the superb Super Bowl campaign kick-off. In fact, there are 60 clips totaling 12.7M views credited to the Super Bowl effort alone,” says RelishMix.
UA/Orion’s Child’s Play grossed $6.1M on Friday, on its way to a $14M opening per the studio. Also, hey, in a tough Disney marketplace, that’s a good debut by the competition. It’s also proof that horror can still be relied upon as counter-programming in an atmosphere of haves and have-nots on the marquee. The shared experience in the theater is more crucial than ever now in the current millennial social media environment, where split decisions are made on the fly as they determine whether they’re headed to the theater. If you’re not a ‘shared experience’ type of film, then you’re dead at the B.O., which is why we see a number of comedies not working right now. Horror still works on the big screen, given its shared experience vibe. We hear this reboot, which stars Aubrey Plaza and a voice-over by Mark Hamill, was more expensive than Blumhouse’s Ma ($13.5M to $5M before P&A, UA says $10M before P&A), but still inexpensive enough.
C+ CinemaScore, which is average for a horror movie. PostTrak demos show Males over 25 at 31% out in force, followed by females under 25 (24%), then females over 25 (23%) and guys under 25 (22%). The 13-17 set making their way in the movie (around 10%) loved the pic the most at 72% positive. Overall, crowd was 53% male and 75% between 18-34 years old. Diversity breakdown was 42% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, 21% African American, and 12% Asian. The reboot played best in the West, East, & South-East, and South-West, where it accounted for close to 80% of business versus other films in those four regions, which did about 76% of their tickets sales.
As we mentioned on Friday, once people buy a ticket and watch Luc Besson’s Anna, they enjoy it and we’re seeing that in the exits, with a B+ CinemaScore. However, we hear the digital P&A spend here (around $10M) was less than regular Lionsgate meat-and-potato action movies. Hence, the $1.3M business on Friday and $3.5M 11th place opening. This is less than the low double digits debuts posted by any Lionsgate/CanalPlus Liam Neeson movie, and lower than the $7.4M opening posted by Jason Statham’s tried and true Mechanic: Resurrection. Lionsgate will incur a loss here with P&A not backstopped by EuropaCorp. While Lionsgate’s exposure is minimal, the greater loss here many sources tell me will be felt by EuropaCorp, which continues to be in severe financial dire straits after Valerian two years ago.
Given Besson being swept up in the #MeToo era after rape allegations brought against him by several women, Anna arrives in the states with much taint. That situation makes Anna a hard film for any distributor to handle. That story is well on critics’ minds, as they slammed Anna with a 26% Rotten Tomatoes rating, but not part of the general moviegoer’s buying decision. How is that? Well, Anna does look too indie and too similar to other shoot-’em-ups to average moviegoers. Why, then, should they go? It’s a different story when Marvel Black Widow’s Scarlett Johansson stars in the film, and you have Universal’s P&A spend and a hot release date like the end of July sans any big competition. Read: Besson’s shoot-’em-up Lucy five years ago, which opened to $43.9M and legged out at $126.7M. Anna drew 53% females and 60% between 18-34 years old. Diversity draw was 46% Caucasian, 24% Hispanic, 15% African American, and 15% Asian. Best regions for Besson’s latest was the West and South-East, but even there we understand it was pretty low. Built for $30M, the big play for Anna is Besson’s homeland of France. It opens next weekend there.
Reports Relish Mix on the social media metrics for the film: “Anna is being geared toward the international box office, as domestic distributor Lionsgate is not activated in any way to promote Anna here in the States. The film has no outstanding social notables to speak of, but instead is skewing heavily to the international audience, with a variety of distributors sharing clips and Lionsgate here in the U.S. decidedly quiet on the promotion for Anna.”
On the specialty side, Amazon’s Late Night in its second weekend was down 50% for $2.58M and a running total of $10.6M in its third weekend. Some believe that the domestic end game for this title that was cherished by the studio is a dismal $14M, far off from their awards-lauded The Big Sick ($42.8M). As we said last week, both expensive Sundance pick-ups are two different types of movies.
NEON has Wild Rose, about a Glasgow musician who dreams about being a Nashville star. The Tom Harper-directed pic made its world premiere at TIFF, and screened before exhibitors as one of a handful indie pics at CinemaCon this year. NEON won Wild Rose in a near seven-figure deal at TIFF where it was buzzed about. Wild Rose grossed around $21K on Friday and is seeing $56,1K for the weekend at five locations in NY, LA and Toronto for $14K screen average. The pic is 93% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The pic played at the Landmark 57th ST, Angelika, Landmark LA, ArcLight Hollywood, and Toronto Varsity. Arclight and Varsity’s business, we hear, was terrible, while the other three venues were mediocre.
WEEKEND B.O. FOR jUNE 21-23
BOX OFFICE FOR JUNE 21-23
2ND UPDATE FRIDAY 12:33PM: Industry estimates see Toy Story 4 at $51M today, including last night’s $12M, on its way to around $136M for the weekend. That’s fantastic number even though it’s under some of the lofty projections many were seeing, i.e. $160M-$200M (Disney had spotted the movie at $140M+).
Let’s allow the weekend to play out, because there’s a lot of love here for the movie with PostTrak exits exploding at 5 stars for both general audiences and parents, and under 12 kids at 4 1/2. Huge 83% definite recommend here, with three out of the four quads well over 90% positive: Females 25+ (31%) love it at 91%, Females under 25 (26%) at 92%, Males under 25 (17%) at a huge 97% while guys over 25 (26%) are the lowest, but not by so much, with an 87% positive rating. Huge percentage of families last night at 40% (parents and kids combined) to general audience’s 60% share of foot traffic. These great exits could easily propel Toy Story 4 higher well into tonight and matinee business of the weekend. What’s clear is that sequelitis spell we were seeing is over for the time being (Again, blamed bad business on the latest string being bad movies, not sequels). At $136M, Toy Story 4 is feasibly on its way to beating the last chapter Toy Story 3 which opened to $110.3M and finaled at $415M domestic, $1.066 billion worldwide.
UA/Orion’s Child’s Play is laying claim to second place with $6M today, including last night’s $1.65M, on its way to a $15M opening. The 13-17 sect loves the movie the most at 90%, while Men under 25 (21%) and Females over 25 (26%) enjoy the pic equally near 80%.
Sony’s Men in Black: International is currently looking at 3rd place with $3.7M today, and $12.1M in weekend 2, -60%, for a 10-day of $54M.
Illumination/Universal’s Secret Life of Pet 2 in weekend 3 is spotting $3.6M today, and $11.8M (-52%) for a running total by Sunday of $119M.
Disney’s Aladdin takes 5th place in weekend 5 with an estimated $3.2M today, and $11.4M for the weekend, -34%, for a running total of $286.7M.
Lionsgate/EuropaCorp’s Anna not faring so well with $1.3M today and $3.3M outside the top 5. This despite the fact that once people get into the Luc Besson film, they love it with PostTrak showing 4 stars last night and males over 25 at 47% giving the pic an 81% and females over 25 at 28% giving the La Femme Nikita like movie an 82% positive. Anna cost $30M (Lionsgate only has the film in certain territories), significantly cheaper than Besson’s $200M-$210M budgeted sci-fi disaster Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets.
UPDATE FRIDAY AM after Thursday night exclusive: Disney is reporting the Thursday night of Pixar’s Toy Story 4 exactly where we saw it last night — at $12M, which makes it the second best preview night for an animated movie after the studio’s Incredibles 2 ($18.5M). See our breakdown in the previous post, but the notion is that Toy Story 4 gets to north of $55M today on its way to a $150M-$160M-plus weekend.
United Artists Releasing Orion’s Child’s Play posted a great preview number last night with $1.65M, higher than Blumhouse/Universal’s Ma which made $1.4M. Child’s Play, a reboot of the famed late ’80s horror film, is expected to earn between $16M-$18M at 3007 locations this weekend, which on the high-end is what Ma opened up to.
Lionsgate/EuropaCorp’s female shoot ’em up Anna made $325K at 1,700 locations last night. The Luc Besson-directed model-turned-assassin pic expands to 2,114 locations and is expected to post a number in the low to mid single digits. That preview number is just below the $390K preview cash made by Lionsgate’s Jason Statham movie Mechanic: Resurrection which posted a $2.6M opening day, $7.4M opening weekend on its way to a $21.2M domestic final.
In regards to other films at the box office, Sony’s Men in Black: International may have gotten a leg up from Father’s Day which pushed its business from $28.5M on Sunday morning to an actual reported $30M opening, however, during the last four weekdays the fourthquel has been getting beat by Illumination/Universal’s Secret Life of Pets 2. Even though Pets 2 lead all films in regular release on Thursday with $3M (-9% from Wednesday), Men in Black: International won the week with $41.9M to the Illumination sequel’s $39M second week. The running total for Pets 2 is currently $107.3M. MIB4 made $2.1M yesterday in third place, -18% from Wednesday. Disney’s Aladdin in its fourth week took in $2.4M yesterday in 2nd place (-4%) for a week’s take of $28.6M and a running total of $275.3M, pacing 6% behind the studio’s live-action Jungle Book at the same point in time, that pic ending its domestic run at $364M.
THURSDAY EXCLUSIVE: Disney continues to build movies this summer, and audiences continue to come. Industry sources –not Disney– inform us that Pixar’s Toy Story 4 is clocking around $12M tonight, which will make it the second best preview night for an animated pic after the record $18.5M notched by Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 last year.
Tonight’s estimated ticket sales for Toy Story 4 are 3x that of Toy Story 3‘s preview night ($4M) back on June 17, 2010 and that was off midnight showtimes.
Toy Story 4 kicked off at select 5PM fan events at 22 theaters tonight with the series’ four titles, followed by a 6PM nationwide break. Tomorrow, Toy Story 4 will play at 4,575 theaters, the second widest release ever after Avengers: Endgame which played at 4,662 theaters.
Will Toy Story 4 overindex up to a $200M opening weekend or stay around the $160M range? Will the lack of a Father’s Day Sunday slow it down? Both Incredibles 2 and 2016’s Finding Dory had the benefit of that holiday boost.
Last year, Incredible 2‘s Thursday night repped 26% of its all-time opening day animated pic record of $71.2M which continued on to become the best animation pic domestic opening of all-time with $182.6M. Prior to Incredibles 2, Pixar’s Finding Dory owned the best domestic debut for animated pic with $135M. That pic’s $9.2M Thursday represented 17% of its $54.7M opening day. If we split the difference of that Thursday night percent range then that means tonight will account for 21.5% of Toy Story 4‘s Friday total or $55.8M.
For many weeks, there’s been several signs pointing to Toy Story 4‘s great success: the Josh Cooley-directed fourthquel already owns a 98% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while the pic scored the best first day presales ever (May 28) for an animated movie on both Fandango and Atom Tickets, outselling Incredibles 2. Also, Toy Story 4 set a record on Atom for best pre-sales of all time for a Disney animated movie, outstripping Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Also, Toy Story 4 outsold the pre-sales of Disney’s live-action hit Aladdin.
We’ll have more updates for you tomorrow morning.