Toy Story 4 opened to a lower than expected opening weekend.
Toy Story 4 made its way to the theatres almost ten years after the supposed finale of the Toy Story franchise with the beloved and much lauded Toy Story 3. On the opening weekend, the movie made an estimated $118 million, from a $200 million budget, which is an excellent opening for any film ever. So, why is it there talks that Toy Story opened lower than expected, and what does it mean for the franchise?
Source: Family Traveler
The problem first arises with the fact that ever insider in Hollywood was expecting the movie to open somewhere in the range of $150 million, with Disney tempering the expectations with a low-ball estimate of $140 million also some optimists going as far as to estimate a $160 million opening weekend in America and Canada. Expectations were sky high, and there was not much Disney can do about that, but the comparisons to past Pixar and Disney sequel is what makes the “low” opening stand out. Back in 2018, The Incredibles 2 opened to $183 million, and no one expected an opening that high but still, the movie outperformed.
Before The Incredibles 2 blazed the box office, Finding Dory opened to expected $135 million. So, the thought process that went into guessing the opening was simple for Toy Story 4; it was going to do the same thing previous Pixar sequels have done. $118 million is by no means a slouch, but considering the past sequels, it is understandable why the movie’s opening left analysts wanting more.
The comparison with past sequels is a game that people like to play, but it is not the same case for all the movies. For example, The Incredibles was a beloved movie, and most moviegoers wanted a sequel for the film, finally, it arrived in theatres 14 years later. People flocked to see the Brad Bird flick as soon as possible, and the sequel had a monstrous opening weekend. Plus the competition against The Incredibles 2 wasn’t that great, going against the box office bomb Solo, an R-rated Deadpool 2 and almost out of theatres Infinity War. Also, the fact that the movie target audience was adult helped along with the ticket sales.
Though no one wanted a sequel to Finding Nemo, which was a zeitgeist setting movie for the 21st century like The Lion King was for the 20th, people still wanted to see what they do with the characters of Nemo and Dory that they wanted to check the movie out in theatres. A bonus, the film was voiced by one of the most beloved TV host Ellen DeGeneres who promoted the hell out of the movie. Also, the competition for this one was not that great, going up against X-Men: Apocalypse, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Warcraft and Independence Day sequel.
Watch: The trailer for the 4th Toy Story movie
There was interest to see The Incredibles 2 because people wanted a sequel for the much-beloved movie, there was an interest to see Finding Dory because it was the 2nd movie in the franchise. The problem for Toy Story is that it is the 4th story in the franchise, and most people had their ending with the emotional Toy Story 3. So, there was not much interest to catch up on the movie because 'Woody' and Buzz’s story concluded in the critically acclaimed 3rd movie. Most people didn’t want to ruin their experience of the franchise because of one sequel, and others were waiting to catch up on the film when they get the time. Toy Story 4 isn’t something like say Avengers: Endgame where the movie may be ruined for you if you don’t see the film on the opening weekend. For most people Woody and Buzz’s story completed, and there was not much interest in masses to see the movie in the first weekend.
The reviews and word of mouth will most probably help the movie along in the coming days, and with The Lion King a month away, Toy Story has some room to work with before the release. With 84/100 score on Metacritic, the movie is a critically acclaimed flick, so Pixar doesn’t need to worry about Toy Story 4 putting a blemish on their record. The “low” opening may be a problem, but a $118 million problem is a beautiful problem most of the studios in Hollywood would love to have.
Source: Disney Movies
The opening weekend may be low because of various factors coming into play; still, the movie is going to make somewhere in the range of $350-$420 million domestic and should cross about $900 million worldwide. The opening for a 25-year-old franchise may be “lower” than expected, but no one is going to shed a tear, for a potential $900 million total worldwide, over at Disney and Pixar.