Disney / Pixar Lightyear Far Underperforms At The Box Office

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Disney and Pixar expected to go to infinity and beyond this weekend for their latest film ‘Lightyear.’ Banking on the beloved ‘Toy Story’ franchise did not lead them to the stars and instead the film barely got off the ground. Expectations put this film much higher than reality did with estimates coming in at $50-$55 million for the entire weekend.

‘Jurassic World Dominion’ came in far above ‘Lightyear’ in it’s sophomore weekend at $67 Million+. Even ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is on track to go over $43 million in it’s 4th weekend. That is almost as much as ‘Lightyear’ and it’s been out for about a month!

To say ‘Lightyear’ is underperforming is an understatement.

Of course, the immediate response from some “media” is that it was being “review bombed” over the LGBTQ+ representation. While there are a few people making comments to that effect, the majority just didn’t care for the film. Frankly, Tim Allen not voicing Buzz Lightyear was more of a concern for people that who his friend was married to.

When you look for reason’s outside of the typical Hollywood, “you didn’t like it so it’s because you are a bad person who hates other people” narrative, some other, more reasonable explanations are available:

The rising costs of going to the movies. However, ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ and Top Gun Maverick’ are still performing. It could be due to the family nature of ‘Lightyear’ and the cost for a family to go to a film–between gas costs, tickets, snacks, etc. The movie money a family would have spent could have gone to pay the extra costs for fuel, groceries or utilities that month.

For Father’s Day weekend a lot of people are going to see ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ or ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’ Those are seen as more “Dad” type films by some.

Another reason could be that Disney kept putting their big animated films on Disney+ for free, or at one set price, with subscription. This could have cause the perception of value to change for people. Or, some are just waiting for it to come to Disney+ with their subscription. They won’t wait long since the theatrical window to Disney+ has shrunk significantly over the past couple of years. Again, rising inflation and a pending recession could be leading many to wait.

Maybe people don’t want to see the “real” Buzz Lightyear from a film Andy saw. Many critics have even indicated that premise was lacking. If it was supposed to be Andy’s ‘Star Wars’ it did not meet expectations (and that is coming directly from some “top critics” on Rotten Tomatoes.)

Tim Allen not voicing the character and this version of Buzz Lightyear not being ‘Toy Story’s’ Buzz Lightyear also had a lot to do with the complaints I’ve seen. Actually, this was the most common complaint I have seen. I do not think people wanted a film where it was just Buzz and yet it wasn’t Buzz. They wanted the character they knew and likely other characters they love with him.

Painting those who don’t like it negatively does not help Disney

I see so many “news” pieces going on and on about vile people who are anti diversity and I truly do not think that is the problem here. Just like people not liking the character of Reva in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ was due to racism. Frankly I’m surprised the media hasn’t used “racism” yet here when they were all over it for ‘Star Wars.’ Maybe that will be next week?

Sure you have a very small amount of people who are upset about the same sex relationship, but most never mentioned that at all when reviewing the film (both critics and audiences.) All it does is further alienate people from Disney because they feel they are being unfairly attacked for not like a film. Maybe people just don’t like this one. Perhaps family audiences are being pinched financially and are waiting until it’s on Disney+? Maybe they just don’t want to see a film that is a ‘Toy Story’ character in a non-Toy Story movie?

No matter what the reasons, the film is likely going to do about 1/2 of original estimates.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!


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