Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office: Toy Story 4 Lands Third-Biggest Opening of the Year

Pixar's latest will go down in history as one of the biggest animated films of all time.

by | June 23, 2019 | Comments

Toy Story 4 might not have matched the record opening weekend that Incredibles 2 posted last summer, but the latest installment from the family-friendly film series will go down in history as one of the all-time biggest animated releases ever instead of THE biggest.


King of the Crop: Toy Story 4 Now Aims For More Than $400 Million

Walt Disney Studios

Toy Story 4’s haul of $118 million over three days is none too shabby. Only 38 films have ever done better, and only three of those were animated (Incredibles 2, Finding Dory, and Shrek the Third). It is also the third-best opening of the year, behind Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel. (In fourth place is Disney’s Aladdin.) Pixar had some hope when the first day of advance sales had the fourth entry outdoing both Dory and the live-action Beauty and the Beast, which opened to $135 million and $174.7 million, respectively. On the other hand, that is overlooking the fact that it bested Toy Story 3’s $110 million opening, which had a final result of more than $415 million. (Though with ticket sales inflation, TS3 is about $11 million higher.) At the time that was Pixar’s greatest success, the company’s first billion dollar grosser (TS4 is up to $238 million total so far), and the second biggest animated film of all-time domestically (behind Shrek 2’s $441 million). So what is Toy Story 4 looking at going forward?

Very much in Pixar’s favor is that the studio, for the most part, makes great movies. Toy Story 4’s 97% (the oh-so-low of the Toy Story series) is the 12th Pixar film rated at 95% or higher on the Tomatometer, although just the third since Toy Story 3 joined Inside Out and Coco. Finding Dory and Incredibles 2 don’t make that benchmark, but their 94% scores aren’t too shabby either. The high quality of Pixar’s films leads to word-of-mouth buzz and repeat viewings. Cars 2 and Cars 3 are the only Pixar films to have less than a 3x multiple over their opening weekends. The lowest multiple for one of Pixar’s films rated 95% or higher is WALL-E’s 3.54. That would give Toy Story 4 a low mark of $417 million. It’s far from the record, but still could be enough to make the Top 20 domestically.


Rotten Returns: Anna Shoots Itself In Foot

In the world of film starring female butt-kickers, Sasha Luss in Anna opened to less than Natasha Henstridge in John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars ($3.8 million) and Keira Knightley in Domino ($4.6 million) — and that is just in films opening in more than 2,000 theaters. Even V.I. Warshawski opened to $3.6 million in 1,133 theaters back in 1991. Critics certainly did not love Anna (its score sits at 26%), and the film has become director Luc Besson’s second-lowest Tomatometer rating, beating only the animated Arthur and the Invisibles at 22%.

Anna’s haul of $3.5 million is Besson’s lowest-opening wide release ever. Arthur opened to $4.29 million, and The Professional made $5.3 million in just 1,158 theaters. In 2,114 theaters that translates to just a $1,672 per-theater-average, the fourth-worst of 2019 in 2,000+ theaters ahead of Captive State, The Sun Is Also a Star, and Replicas. No wide release this year has made it to $10 million after grossing less than $4 million in its opening weekend. However, its $30 million budget can be easily saved if it makes even a fraction of the combined $516 million that Lucy and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets grossed overseas.


The Top Ten And Beyond

A $14 million opening for Child’s Play puts it behind fellow horror remakes House on Haunted Hill ($15.9 million), The Hills Have Eyes ($15.7), Thirteen Ghosts ($15.1), The Ring ($15.0), Quarantine ($14.2), and The Last House on the Left ($14.1). The Ring, rated PG-13, went on to gross more than $129 million. The three R-rated films in front of it finished between $40.8 and $41.9 million total. The two behind it finished with $31.6 and $32.7 million. The 1988 original is still the champion of the Chucky series with $33.2 million or nearly $72 million with inflation. It was the second-highest grossing horror film of that year, behind A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. This year’s remake of Pet Sematary grossed $54.7 million, less than the $57.4 million of the 1989 version (or over $118 million with inflation.)

Men In Black International dropped 64 percent in its second weekend, bringing its standing total to $54 million. Looking at the 22 films released in June that have made $50-58 million in their first ten days, 19 of them had a better second weekend than MIBI. Only The Happening ($10.48 million), Dark Phoenix ($9.35 million) and The Purge ($8.31 million) were worse. The Happening and The Purge finished between $64-65 million and MIBI is going to aim for $70 million. Dark Phoenix fell another 61 percent after losing 1,667 theaters and is barely ahead of The Purge after 17 days with $3.6 million/$60.1 million vs. $3.58 million/$59.6 million. MIBI and Dark Phoenix have grossed just $182 million and $233 million worldwide to date.

In other family film news, Aladdin just continues to hold remarkably for Disney with another $12.2 million for a grand total of $287 million domestic and $810 million worldwide. It is right there with the 31-day totals of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($288.3 million) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($287.0). Plus, those films made just $8.5 million and $7.2 million in their fifth weekend, which means Aladdin is poised to become the highest-grossing Memorial Day release of all-time and is also not far behind the $817 million that Independence Day grossed to become Will Smith’s biggest film ever.

On the flip side, Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 is up to $117.5 million after an $10.2 million third weekend. That puts the film behind How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hotel Transylvania 3, and, speaking of Will Smith, Shark Tale. However, those films grossed $14.6 million, $12.2 million, and $22 million in their third weekends and finished with $160.5 million, $167.5 million, and $160.8 million, respectively. Unless Pets 2 has a solid hold into July, it is going to gross $200 million less domestically than the first film. It is more over $194 million worldwide. The first film grossed more than $875 million.

John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum is now officially the sixth-highest-grossing domestic film in Lionsgate history and 13th globally with more than $289 million. Godzilla: King of the Monsters passed the $100 million line, but is still looking for about another $75 million to get out of the red with $349.9 million total. Does Rocketman have a shot at $100 million? The Elton John biopic is currently ahead of the pace of previous May releases The Italian Job and Casper, which had lines of $5.4 million/$76.7 million and $4.9 million/$75.3 million after their fifth weekends. Rocketman’s line this weekend is at $5.5 million/$77.0 million. So there’s a chance. It is over $153 million worldwide.

Just hanging in the top ten was Shaft, which fell 60 percent and has grossed just $15.9 million. Also dropping out was Amazon’s $12 million Sundance pickup Late Night, which has grossed just $10.6 million to date. Finally, if you missed it, Avengers: Endgame will be getting a fresh release next weekend ahead of Spider-Man: Far From Home. I examined its chances of still breaking Avatar’s record here. Inflation notwithstanding (we are talking dollars, not actual tickets) Endgame grossed another $1.89 million this weekend and is now $38.3 million behind Avatar.


This Time Last Year: Dinosaurs Helped Drive The Biggest Weekend of the Summer

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom had the weekend all to itself and outgrossed all the other films in the top ten combined with a $148 million start. That was 29.1 percent less than Jurassic World opened to, but it was still the 20th-highest opening ever. Incredibles 2 had a solid second weekend of $80.3 million putting its total just shy of $350 million. Deadpool 2 passed $300 million, Solo: A Star Wars Story passed $200 million, and Ocean’s 8 just hit $100 million all on the same weekend. The Top Ten films combined to gross $269.38 million (up from $258.48 million the weekend before) which became the best weekend of the entire summer and the fourth best of the year. Despite the #1 film having the lowest score on the Tomatometer at 47%, the top ten films still maintained an average of 73.5% — thanks in part to the Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? hitting the ten slot with $1.8 million in just 348 theaters. This year’s Top Ten grossed an estimated $185.87 million and averaged 56.8% on the Tomatometer.


On the Vine: Creepy Dolls and Beatles To Invade Box Office

The director of Trainspotting teams up with the writer of Love Actually to give audiences a chance to (re)discover The Beatles in the music fantasy Yesterday. The film currently stands at 63% on the Tomatometer. Then Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga join for Annabelle Comes Home, the Conjuring spinoff series that has grossed more than $563 million worldwide.


The Full Top 10: June 21-23

  1. Toy Story 4 (2019) 97% – $118 million ($118 million total)
  2. Child's Play (2019) 63% – $14.05 million ($14.05 million total)
  3. Aladdin (2019) 57% – $12.20 million ($287.51 million total)
  4. Men in Black International (2019) 23% – $10.75 million ($52.68 million total)
  5. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) 59% – $10.29 million ($117.58 million total)
  6. Rocketman (2019) 89% – $5.65 million ($77.32 million total)
  7. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) 90% – $4.07 million ($156.06 million total)
  8. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) 41% – $3.70 million ($102.34 million total)
  9. Dark Phoenix (2019) 23%$3.60 million ($60.15 million total)
  10. Shaft (2019) 32% – $3.55 million ($15.94 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


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