Toy Story 4 won the box office this weekend with a new franchise record debut. It's no secret the summer marketplace has been in a bit of a slump the past few weeks, with several major studio tentpoles significantly underperforming. The likes of Dark Phoenix and Men in Black: International bombed commercially, but many were looking to the latest from Pixar to reverse the trend. In the lead-up to its release, Toy Story 4 was projected to set a new all-time animated opening mark with $200 million domestically.
The most recent estimates were a little more modest, but still pointed to a great haul of around $150 million. Toy Story 4 arrived in theaters with much fanfare, bolstered by enthusiastic reviews that praised it as a humorous and heartfelt addition to the series. Without much competition standing in its way, the expectation was that Toy Story 4 was going to be a major draw across multiple demographics. In a way, it was, but it wasn't as big a hit as some thought it might be.
According to Box Office Mojo, Toy Story 4 made $118 million domestically in its first three days. That's slightly higher than Toy Story 3's $110.3 million opening to become the new franchise high. Toy Story 4 ranks as the fourth-largest animated debut, trailing Incredibles 2 ($182.6 million), Finding Dory ($135 million), and Shrek the Third ($121.6 million).
Toy Story 4 is the blockbuster the summer season needed right now, though it's still curious that it opened well below initial expectations. As indicated above, the film's critical reception was stellar, so word-of-mouth wasn't an issue. Perhaps the "underperformance" (if $118 million can be called that) stems from audience demand. When Toy Story 4 was originally announced back in 2014, it was met with a great deal of skepticism from those believing the third film was a perfect conclusion to the series. In stark contrast, people clamored for an Incredibles sequel for years, which is why that movie shattered records when it came out last year. While Toy Story 4 was always in a position to do well, there may have been some viewers who weren't interested at the outset and decided to skip it because in their mind, the series was already done.
At the same time, $118 million is a great start (the worldwide gross is $238 million), and Toy Story 4 should have strong legs. There are a couple of noteworthy tentpoles on the way in Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Lion King, but there are no family animated films coming out in July. This means Toy Story 4 essentially has a monopoly on its target audience and it'll probably stick around at the top of the charts for an extended period of time. Disney has yet another massive smash on their hands.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019