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Pixar’s “Lightyear” Debuts at #2 Opening Weekend

Pixar's "Lightyear"

It was a rough weekend for Pixar’s “Lightyear,” which opened with less than expected numbers to debut at #2 at the U.S. box office.


The Box Office

Despite positive reviews from both critics (including The Disney Blog) and moviegoers, the film only had a $51 million debut from 4,255 North American theaters (according to Box Office Mojo).

Adding in overseas markets, “Lightyear” only took in $34.6 million from its first 43 markets for a global weekend debut of $85.6 million.

The good news is that internationally across Latin America, “Lightyear” opened at #1 in all markets.

It is also the highest launch weekend for any animated release during the pandemic era in Mexico, Argentina, Central America, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, and the Philippines.

“Lightyear” even debuted at No. 1 in Italy and Iceland, as well as No. 2 in Spain, Hong Kong, Philippines and Thailand

Lightyear family

Why Didn’t the Film Do Better?

Part of the problem is it debuted in the wake of two huge box office Hollywood tentpole sequels (“Jurassic World Dominion” and “Top Gun: Maverick”).

In fact it was “Jurassic World Dominion” that grabbed this week’s U.S. box office top spot with $58 million in its second week in theaters.

The film’s world-wide box office was also curtailed by the fact that several countries banned the film over an animated same-sex kiss.

Speaking of the international markets, the film still hasn’t opened in some markets like France (June 24) or Japan (July 1), so that will add to the total gross.

And finally, some “Toy Story” fans say they refused to see the film due to Chris Evans voicing the actual space ranger Buzz Lightyear, instead of Tim Allen who has voiced the toy version of Buzz Lightyear since the start of the franchise.


The Impact

After sending three Pixar films straight to streaming on Disney+, hopes were high for “Lightyear” to do well in the theaters.

This less-than-expected performance may send near-future Pixar films, like “Elemental,” back to streaming on Disney+ for a few releases.

Lightyear crew

A Holiday Weekend

Of course today, June 20, is a Federal holiday in the U.S. honoring Juneteenth Day, so Monday could look more like a weekend day in terms of traffic at theaters.

That may mean a good 4-day weekend total, but probably not enough to climb that one extra spot on the charts.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Good News for Doctor Strange

While “Lightyear” only grabbed the #2 spot on the box office chart, Marvel’s “Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness” is still hanging on to the #4 spot this weekend.

The film made $4.2 million in 2,465 U.S. theaters for the last week before it arrives on Disney+. It’s been in theaters for seven weeks.


Did You See It?

Did you venture out to theaters this weekend to see “Lightyear“? Do you have plans to see it this week?

If not, why aren’t you seeing it? Let us know in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Pixar’s “Lightyear” Debuts at #2 Opening Weekend”

  1. Let’s hope all releases in the future provide an immediate Disney+ option. I have no intention of ever returning to a theatre because it just isn’t a pleasant experience. I’ve always hoped for the ability to pay a premium to watch a new release in the comforts of home and have greatly enjoyed this ability the past couple of years. I anticipate that we likely aren’t far from the day when all studios will provide an immediate streaming option.

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