SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Blame the fact that it doesn’t appeal to girls, blame Disney+ for stealing family moviegoers, blame the lack of an ensemble Toy Story cast, heck, blame everything as Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear didn’t do its magic by internal studio or industry standards this weekend with $51M, close to a third below its lowest $70M pre-release projection.
This is an opening more in the vicinity of Pixar’s original fare (i.e. Coco $51M, Ratatouille $47M), so it could still leg out to $200M+. However, given how this IP was built on the back of the Toy Story brand, it’s clear many were expecting significantly more. Lightyear overall was down in its global start, $85.6M versus the top-end $135M estimate we reported. In sum, there wasn’t any urgency for mass moviegoers to see Lightyear.
Universal/Amblin is calling Jurassic World Dominion at $58.66M, -60%, and a $68M 4-day.
While Lightyear had good exits, if you stack them up against Toy Story 4, it’s just not as vibrant. Lightyear had a 61% definite recommend to the latter’s 75%. Toy Story 4‘s positivity score was higher 89% to Lightyear‘s 85%, and that 2019 sequel had an even split between boys and girls. Also, while an A- CinemaScore is, of course, great for any movie, an A is even more platinum, and makes all the difference in regards to legs, especially when it comes to animation. The slight difference is vital.
How else did Jurassic World Dominion whip Lightyear? I hear that Dominion had more large format availability and more evening activity than Lightyear, which helped the box office for the Colin Trevorrow film. Box office stat firm EntTelligence reports that Dominion had 51% of the premium format seats (PFS) to Lightyear‘s 43%. The presales in weekend 2 for the dinosaurs indicated this would happen. Four hundred Imax auditoriums generated 8% of Dominion‘s gross, with other premium large format (PLF) screens driving 11%. All in, all premium formats repped close to a third of Dominion‘s second weekend take, or $17M. Imax and PLF drove 24% of the gross for Lightyear. Next weekend, Disney gets all the Imax screens for the Angus MacLane-directed Pixar title.
Overall, EntTelligence showed that Dominion pulled in 36% of the weekend audience in the last two days, to Lightyear‘s 33%. Dominion overindexed in the South, South Central, and Midwest. The dinosaurs beat Lightyear in Canada over the first two days, $2.875M to $1.76M, and popped in Hispanic and Latino markets like San Antonio and more. This despite the fact that Lightyear beat Dominion in LA and family hub Salt Lake City.
RelishMix reports Lightyear‘s social media universe in the TikTok era was lower than the massive footprint that Toy Story 4 had, 396.1M across all social formats to 757.7M. Among recent comps like Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Lightyear ran 12% under that pic’s social media reach before opening. Disney had a social media champ in MCU star Chris Evans, who promoted to his near 34M fans. Keke Palmer was well-activated at 21.8M fans, along with Uzo Aduba at 3.6M, plus Taika Waititi at 5.4M.
Paramount/Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick is coming in at $44M, down an amazing 15%, for a $466.1M total by EOD today, which, as we reported last night, is the third-best fourth weekend ever for a movie, after American Sniper ($89.1M) and Avatar ($50.1M).
We’re hearing that Top Gun 2 on Father’s Day is leading presales. Over the weekend, Top Gun 2 became producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s top-grossing title at the domestic box office, clicking past 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which did $423M. Worldwide, Dead Man’s Chest is still the producer’s top around the world with $1.07 billion, followed by 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides ($1.05B) and 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($961M). It will take a bit for Top Gun 2, currently at $885M WW, to fly past that trio.
In tenth place is Focus Features’ Brian and Charles. In 279 locations in 100 markets, it did $198K over 3-days, for a $711 per theater, with an expected $221K. The numbers speak for themselves. Only one theater cracked $1K, and that was the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, TX. Focus didn’t overspend here, I understand, digitally targeting the audience and taking global rights at a low cost.
1.) Jurassic World Dominion (Uni) 4,697 (+21) theaters, Fri $15.8M, Sat $21.98M, Sun $20.88M, 3-day $58.66M (-60%)/4-day $68M/Total $259.1M/Wk 2
2.) Lightyear (Dis) 4,255 theaters, Fri $20.7M, Sat $16.3M, Sun $14M, 3-day $51M, 4-day est $55M+/Wk 1
3.) Top Gun: Maverick (Par) 4,262 (-489) theaters, Fri $11M, Sat $15.6M, Sun $17.3M, 3-day $44M (-15%), 4-day est $48M, Total $470.1M/Wk 4
4.) Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Dis) 2,465 (-880) theaters, Fri $1.1M, Sat $1.57M, Sun $1.52M, 3-day $4.2M (-19%), 4-day $4.4M, Total $405.2M/Wk 7
5.) Bob’s Burgers (20th/Dis) 1,350 (-1,255) theaters, Fri $349K, Sat $441K, Sun $310K, 3-day $1.1M (-51%), 4-day $1.3M, Total $30M/Wk 4
6.) Everything, Everywhere All at Once (A24) 679 (-755) theaters, Fri $260K, Sat $359K, Sun $341K, 3-day $960K (-26%), 4-day $1.2M, Total $65.1M/Wk 13
7.) The Bad Guys (Uni) 1,477 (-939) theaters, Fri $280K, Sat $370K, Sun $330K, 3-day $980K (-61%), 4-day $1.15M, Total $94.4M /Wk 9
8.) Downton Abbey – A New Era (Foc) 1,179 (-832) theaters, Fri $260K, Sat $300K, Sun $270K, 3-day $830K (-53%), 4-day $970K, Total: $42.3M/Wk 5
9.) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Par) 439 (-628) theaters $54K, Sat $94K Sun $80K, 3-day $228K (-70%), 4-day est $280K, Total $190.5M/Wk 11
10.) Brian and Charles (Foc) 279 theaters, Fri $74K,Sat $73K, Sun $51K, 3-day $198K, 4-day $221K, Wk 1
SATURDAY PM: In a Saturday matinee brawl at the box office between a Disney Pixar space ranger and Universal/Amblin dinosaurs, the prehistoric beasts win. Industry estimates show Jurassic World Dominion swallowed up Saturday over Lightyear, $21.8M to $15.7M. Lightyear will be lucky to hit $50M for the 3-day (these estimates do not come from Disney), if it has a robust Father’s Day, as Dominion will also steal the Friday-Sunday frame with $58.3M, -60% –not far from 2018 Fallen Kingdom‘s second weekend -58% decline. All in with the 4-day holiday, Dominion is looking at $67.6M. This will put the Coin Trevorrow-directed, cowritten, and produced sixth Jurassic title at $258.7M, 6% behind Fallen Kingdom‘s 11-day running cume.
Seriously, a mindboggling result here given the great diagnostics on Lightyear: 61% gave it a definite recommend to Dominion‘s 57% in its opening weekend. Plus Lightyear scored 85% positive to Dominion‘s 73% in exits. We’ve heard grumbles that some of the die-hard Toy Story fans are put off by Chris Evans as the voice of Buzz Lightyear vs. franchise vet Tim Allen. However, the exits don’t necessarily show anything negative in that regard: 20% came out for Evans vs. 16% for Chris Pratt in Dominion‘s opening weekend. Forty-five percent of those polled bought tickets to Lightyear because it was part of a franchise they loved, which isn’t far from the 43% who bought tickets to Dominion for that same exact reason.
Also, let’s behold the unstoppable sound barrier breaking power of Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick. The Tom Cruise pic’s fourth weekend stands at $43.1M, which is the third-best fourth weekend ever for a major motion picture, behind American Sniper ($89.1M) and Avatar ($50.1M). You could even argue it’s the second-best for a movie in its fourth weekend, as American Sniper went wide in weekend 4 after a platform holiday release. Heck, Top Gun 2‘s fourth weekend is even higher than Spider-Man: No Way Home, which did $32.6M. Top Gun 2‘s ease here is a 17% dip from weekend 3 with an expected Sunday EOD running total of $465.3M after a $15.3M Saturday, +40% over Friday (just $400K shy of Lightyear).
We’ll have more updates in the AM.
SATURDAY AM: Well, this wasn’t suppose to happen. Disney’s Lightyear, despite an A- CinemaScore and 4 stars/85% positive on PostTrak, is coming in way under its $70M-$85M projection, with a $51M-$55M 3-day weekend to Universal/Amblin’s second weekend of Jurassic World Dominion with $57.1M, -61%. Jurassic could even reach $66.3M through the four-day Juneteenth holiday.
What the hell happened here? Despite the lowest Rotten Tomatoes rating of the Toy Story franchise at 77% Certified Fresh, it’s clear no one in great quantity is going to see the origin story of Buzz Lightyear. Understand that a Pixar movie and a Jurassic movie have played in close proximity to each other on the calendar before, and they both walked away with an embarrassment of riches. While we’ve mentioned that spinoffs always open lower than the core franchise films (take your pick: Fantastic Beasts vs. Harry Potter, Hobbs & Shaw vs. Fast & Furious and Bumblebee vs. Transformers), this could be a case of going to the Toy Story well too soon, too fast, despite the fact that theater closures and a pandemic stood between now and the last Toy Story 4 three years ago.
Like Universal with Dominion, it’s not like Disney didn’t market Lightyear, and if you comb through the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, a majority of them seemed to enjoy it.
It’s clear the majority of Toy Story fans are not out in abundance. Remember that movie is an ensemble pic in all its toy characters, an appealing factor for all the parents that grew up with those icons like slinky dog and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Also limiting audiences here with Lightyear is that there’s not much for girls to hook their hats on; the outer space aspect makes this spinoff a big driver for boys, hence the turnout of more boys than girls.
Also, families in an inflation economy might be choosing their battles in a streaming laden marketplace: They’ll go see Jurassic on the big screen, which won’t be in the homes for a while, but might wait to see an nth Toy Story movie on Disney+.
While the box office economics on a $200M animated movie aren’t great from Disney’s POV, particularly in regards to the official and internal studio projections, and the Toy Story franchise itself, exhibition sees a different side of the coin after going through their own depression in 2020-21: $51M-$55M is a damn good opening. More reason for exhibitors to sing “We’re in The Money” from Gold Diggers of 1993 is the fact that the three-day weekend is ringing up an estimated $161.1M, 18% ahead of the same weekend in 2019, the benchmark year for determining whether the domestic box office has returned to healthy levels.
K-12 schools are off at 95% on Monday, so we’ll see if Lightyear can find an extra set of jet fuel today through Monday.
Of those who turned out for Lightyear, 52% were men, 48% females. Some 61% of those who bought tickets were between 18-34. Men over 25 were dominant at 30%, giving the film its best grade of 87% positive. Females under 25 at 24% also gave it 87%. Females over 25 repped 24% of the audience and graded the Pixar film with an 85%. Men under 25 at 23% gave the film a 79% grade.
Diversity demos were 46% Caucasian, 28% Hispanic and Latino, 10% Black, and 11% Asian. Lightyear‘s best territories were in the West and Southwest, where eight of its top ten runs came from. Imax and PLF screens are contributing close to a quarter of the box office to date.
Throwing an extra monkey wrench into the Father’s Day weekend box office against the competition is the holdover power of Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick, the ultimate movie to take your dad to. The movie is eyeing a glorious 4th weekend of $40M, -23%, for a running total of $462.1M; just $37.9M from a half billion stateside.
In tenth place is Focus Features’ release of Jim Archer’s Sundance premiere Brian and Charles in 279 locations. Pic is eyeing $197K for 3-days, $220K for 4 days for an theater average of $706.
1.) Jurassic World Dominion (Uni) 4,697 (+21) theaters, Fri $15.7M (-74%), 3-day $57.1M (-61%)/4-day $66.2M/Total $257.3M/Wk 2
2.) Lightyear (Dis) 4,255 theaters, Fri $20.7M/3-day $51M-$55M, 4-day est $59.8M/Wk 1
3.) Top Gun: Maverick (Par) 4,262 (-489) theaters, Fri $10.96M (-23%), 3-day $40M (-23%), 4-day $46.5M, Total $468.6M/Wk 4
4.) Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Dis) 2,465 (-880) theaters, Fri $1.1M (-23%), 3-day $4.2M (-19%), 4-day $4.4M, Total $405.2M/Wk 7
5.) Bob’s Burgers (20th/Dis) 1,350 (-1,255) theaters, Fri $349K (-51%), 3-day $1.18M (-51%), 4-day $1.3M, Total $30M/Wk 4
6.) The Bad Guys (Uni) 1,477 (-939) theaters, Fri $270K (-63%), 3-day $950K (-63%), 4-day $1.1M, Total $94.3M /Wk 9
7.) Everything, Everywhere All at Once (A24) 679 (-755) theaters, Fri $260K (-27%), 3-day $984K (-25%), 4-day $1.08M, Total $65M/Wk 13
8.) Downton Abbey – A New Era (Foc) 1,179 (-832) theaters, Fri $260K (-50%), 3-day $850K (-52%), 4-day $990K, Total: $42.3M/Wk 5
9.) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Par) 439 (-628) theaters $53K, 3-day $200K (-73%), 4-day $240K, Total $190.4M/Wk 11
10.) Brian and Charles (Foc) 279 theaters, Fri $73K, 3-day $197K, 4-day $220K, Wk 1
FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Friday is clearly in favor of Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear with $23M, that includes the $5.2M previews. However, there’s some suspense from Universal/Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion possibly sinking its teeth into the cartoon astronaut.
Current 3-day outlook for Lightyear is $55M+ and Jurassic World Dominion is at $53.4M, but there’s a projection that the latter cold clear $61M over 4-days sending its running total to $253M.
Still too early to say Lightyear is underperforming for Saturday matinees and Sunday Father’s Day business are its greatest strengths. At this early stage, we heard that hourlies are progressing better than Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s during its first Friday in April. Should that momentum continue through the rest of this afternoon, then there’s a chance Lightyear gets to $60M.
In last night’s PostTrak exits, Lightyear notched four stars with overall audiences and a 62% recommend. The audience make-up was 67% general, 16% parents and 17% kids under 12. Parents gave the movie 4 1/2 stars whereas kids under 12 gave it 5 stars. Boys outnumbered girls, 61% to 39%. Of the general audience, 53% where men, 47% women.
FRIDAY AM: Pixar’s return to the big screen, Lightyear, did $5.2M between fan Wednesday previews and Thursday night shows, which is just under the $6.3M that Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 did back in April over its first two days of previews.
Lightyear‘s Wednesday fan screenings started at 6PM, while Thursday showtimes began at 3PM. The sci-fi origin story of space ranger Buzz Lightyear is booked at 4,255 theaters and is expected to do between $70M-$85M. Global start is being eyed at $135M, with the overseas footprint being 43 material markets, representing 79% of international. Rotten Tomatoes reviews are at 80% certified fresh which is below the high 90%-100% range of the Toy Story movies. If the family film is going to overindex, it boil down to Father’s Day traffic, not to mention, the Juneteenth holiday being celebrated on Monday. To date during the pandemic, Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 owns the best opening for a family movie at $72.1M.
Lightyear is well ahead of the Tuesday pre-holiday previews of Universal/Illumination’s Sing 2 ($1.6M) and Disney’s Encanto ($1.5M). Presales for Lightyear were estimated to be around $10M as of yesterday, just under Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s $12M-$14M.
Universal/Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion led all movies in regular release yesterday with $8.66M, -13% from Wednesday at 4,676. The movie will share Imax screens with Lightyear this weekend, but cede them in its third weekend fully to the Disney/Pixar film. First week’s take for Dominion is $191.1M, 7% behind the first week of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Paramount/Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick saw $6.2M yesterday, -6% from Wednesday for a third week of $78.7M and running total of $422.1M.
Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did an estimated $614K, for a $7.9M sixth week and $400.8M running total.
Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys grossed $282K, -24%, for a $4M eighth week, and $93.2M running total.
Disney’s The Bob’s Burgers Movies made an estimated $280K, for a $3.9M third week and running total of $28.7M.