Why ‘Lightyear’ disappointed at the box office

“Solo: A Star Wars Story.” “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.” Today, while Hollywood is making full use of its intellectual property, many film franchises have spawned that one offshoot that pushed the boundaries of a connected film universe.

Now, Lightyear has become the film for Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Story series, which has been a boon to The Walt Disney Co.’s computer animation powerhouse for 27 years.

“Lightyear,” starring Chris Evans as the voice of the famed Space Ranger, grossed $51 million in ticket sales in North America Friday through Sunday, a disappointing result considering analysts were forecasting an opening weekend of about $70 million had.

Including international sales, the film grossed $85.6 million, the studio estimates. Domestically, “Jurassic World Dominion” failed to reach number one on the charts, despite poor reviews for the dino sequel, which won its second straight weekend.

The modest opening of the Pixar film is an unexpected headache for Disney as the company begins bringing its animated films back to theaters exclusively. Lightyear was the first Pixar film to receive an exclusive theatrical release since 2020’s Onward. Pixar’s latest release, the acclaimed Turning Red, premiered exclusively on Disney+, an example of how the company is using its animation skills to boost its high-priority streaming business.

While not a full-blown intergalactic catastrophe, Lightyear is a rare failure for the Toy Story series, the first of which revolutionized computer animation and caused the 3-D style to supplant Disney’s more traditional hand-drawn look forever. The previous two entries, Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4, which had strong appeal to families and adults without children, each grossed more than $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

So what happened?

Lightyear has always been at a disadvantage compared to other Toy Story films. The new movie doesn’t have Woody, Jessie, or any other favorite characters, and Tim Allen no longer voices the character of Buzz, who in this movie is a real sci-fi hero and not just a toy.

Spinoffs generally don’t perform as well as their main franchise counterparts. Solo: A Star Wars Story was a major disappointment for Disney and Lucasfilm as the company attempted to ditch the popular Han Solo character for its own origin story. Universal’s “Hobbs & Shaw” fared better, grossing a solid $759 million worldwide, but without Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, it wouldn’t have grossed over $1 billion like “Fate of the Furious” or “Furious 7.” ” reachable.

An exception to the rule is Minions, which managed to topped all three Despicable Me movies with its $1.16 billion gross. Illumination Entertainment will test the series’ breaking point again this summer with the prequel, Minions: The Rise of Gru.

“‘Toy Story’ has defied gravity at the box office throughout its 27-year run, with every episode topping the last and the last two grossing $1 billion worldwide,” said David A. Gross, director of film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research, in an email. “But like all spin-offs, the ‘Lightyear’ story is now tighter, Tim Allen’s iconic voice has been replaced, and Woody is gone.”

The marketing of “Lightyear” could also have been an issue. The concept of “Lightyear” was a bit difficult to explain. It’s led by the character Buzz Lightyear, but toy audiences don’t recognize it from the earlier films – it’s the guy the toy is based on, who stars in his own adventure. But if audiences find this concept complicated, they should try to follow a Marvel movie these days. At least the title of “Lightyear” is more concise than “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”.

The main problem seems to be that the buzz (sorry) for this part just wasn’t as good as it was for the four main “Toy Story” movies. It has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 76%, which is fine for other studios, but it’s more of a gentleman’s C for Pixar. Quadrilogy, her story feels thinner and more general.”

According to Comscore’s PostTrak Audience Exit Polling data, the film simply didn’t resonate with audiences as well as a typical family film. As is often the case, analyzing why a film underperforms isn’t very complicated. Sometimes movies just don’t connect the way studios hope, no matter what familiar faces are in the cockpit.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-06-20/why-lightyear-disappointed-at-the-box-office-for-disney-and-pixar Why ‘Lightyear’ disappointed at the box office

Sarah Ridley

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