The opening weekend box office performance of Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear,” a film about the astronaut who inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy from the “Toy Story” franchise, was below expectations.
The animated film grossed around $51 million, while pre-release estimates anticipated $70 million.
Lightyear to Blast Off and Continue the Summer’s Film Success
In the wake of the epidemic, it’s terrific to see the summer film industry rebounding as it has. In 2020, the summer movie season was canceled, and it began to return in 2021.
Now in 2022, blockbuster films such as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Top Gun: Maverick, and Jurassic World: Dominion have achieved great success.
Top Gun: Maverick has already grossed $400 million domestically, Doctor Strange is close behind, and if Jurassic World: Dominion performs similarly to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it might possibly enter the $400 million club.
This weekend, the Toy Story spinoff/prequel Lightyear is scheduled to launch, and all indications point to the Pixar film continuing the summer’s film success streak.
Lightyear is Pixar’s first theatrical release in nearly two years, as Soul, Luca, and Turning Read were moved to Disney+ due to the influenza outbreak. Because the name is associated with a well-known IP, it makes it reasonable that they would bet on Lightyear to represent their return to the multiplex.
Lightyear is considered a spinoff of the Toy Story franchise, with the protagonist of this film being the man who inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy we first encounter in the 1995 film. This familiarity should guarantee a large opening weekend, but let’s investigate why Lightyear is projected to open with less than $100 million.
The fact that the film is a spinoff/prequel and not a direct sequel contributes to its opening weekend projections in the $70 million range. Pixar typically appeals to both children and adults, thus my forecast will be higher.
The audience should be more dispersed than crowd tracking indicates. Toy Story 4 opened at $120.9 million in June 2019 and I believe that target is a bit overly ambitious.
Word-of-mouth would have to be out of this planet between Friday and Saturday, and although I’m not saying it’s impossible, I believe Buzz Lightyear will be a slow-burning success rather than a box office explosion.
There is also the possibility that the picture drastically outperforms its tracking. The tracking for Jurassic World: Dominion dropped to $125 million heading into the weekend, but the film surpassed that mark by $20 million despite receiving poor reviews from reviewers.
Box office analysts are still determining which demographics are enthusiastic about going to the movies with the pandemic still fresh in their thoughts.
Lightyear has an 81 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is lower than the scores of 90 to 100 percent that are typical for Toy Story films. Even the bad reviews laud the visual quality of the film. Family films are also able to withstand generally negative reviews.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 has a 69 percent rating and debuted with $72 million. According to Deadline, Lightyear is also sharing 400 IMAX screens in the United States with Jurassic World: Dominion, but it will receive all of them the next weekend, allowing it to make up ground on that front.
There is also the possibility of a Father’s Day surge of fathers and sons going to the movies, and depending on the age range, this film could be the top pick. I’m predicting an $80 million opening weekend for Lightyear as a result of a combination of variables.
What Is the Narrative of the Movie?
Buzz Lightyear’s voyage across space is the central theme of this Pixar Animation Studios film. The film will also feature action in addition to adventure. In addition to ‘Toy Story’ characters, the film will feature new characters who support Buzz on his adventure.
The film ‘Lightyear’ is directed by Angus McClain, who co-wrote it with Jason Headley. Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, and Dale Soules voice the characters in the film.