Lightyear‘, arrived in theaters last weekend, but its box office has not been as expected. Barely 34.6 million at the international box office, which added to the also very low 51 million dollars in US theaters (a minimum of 70 was expected), leaves a very tight global calculation of 85.6 million. In this international arena, it lags behind two films that are doing very well: ‘Jurassic World: Dominion‘ and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’.
Astronomical expenses complicated to recover. Lightyear is not exactly a small movie. It has cost 200 million dollars, to which must be added an extra 10 in marketing. In addition, it is not that he has too much time left to settle at the box office: next week the latest installment of a franchise as powerful as ‘Minions’ with ‘Minions: The Origin of Gru’ arrives in theaters. The reason for the slip is difficult to deduce beyond the obvious (the competition it has encountered is very strong)
But perhaps it could be assumed that the film has not been seen as a film of special creative quality, as recent Pixar releases such as ‘Net‘ either ‘Luca‘, as much as his space adventure proposal taking up characters from a series as beloved as ‘toy story‘ be attractive. But perhaps the nostalgia effect is not, from afar, as powerful as the recovery of two mastodons of the past of ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Top Gun’. Although possibly the ban in countries of the Middle East and Asia It hasn’t had too much of a negative effect.
Pixar’s shadow. ‘Lightyear’ itself has been perceived as a small event for Pixar fans. It was the company’s first film in two years to be released theatrically since ‘Onwards‘, which landed in rooms just with the pandemic and quickly went to Disney+ in those first weeks of panic and hurried premieres for reinforce the streaming bet. Since then, Pixar has released ‘Soul‘, ‘Luca’ and ‘Red’, all premiere directly on Disney+.
Those responsible for Pixar were not at all happy with this decision by Disney to relegate its films to the streaming. As much as it reinforces the platform’s offer, something that undoubtedly interests Disney, it is true that films like the three mentioned are excellent and came to have a notable impact: ‘Soul’ was nominated for three Oscars and won two, and ‘ Red’ sparked countless conversations about the film’s protagonists and their visualization of themes that had previously not been seen on screen.
Meanwhile, Disney has been releasing its own films (in recent years, only two: ‘Raya and the last dragon‘and’ ‘charm’) in Salas as traditionally, providing them with an event air that has not enjoyed the latest Pixar productions. Above all, it has worked for him with ‘Encanto’, a hit in cinemas that also had a notable media impact thanks to having won an Oscar and the quality of its soundtrack.
And what happens now with Pixar? At the moment, there are a few premieres on hold. Within just one year, in the summer of 2023, ‘Elemental’ will arrive, a return to land that the company knows well thanks to productions such as’ Soul ‘or’Reverse‘. For 2024 there are two projects without a title yet, one to premiere in March and another in June. It has not transpired if any of the three has a guaranteed arrival in theaters or streaming.
The puncture of ‘Lightyear’ is not catastrophic, and a quick release on Disney + (the reduction of windows is a custom that certainly has not affected the box office of movies like ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, but it could have impacted the performance of this) can serve to give the platform a push in a few weeks. That is to say, ‘Lightyear’ can continue to be useful for a Disney that does not tire of squeezing its productions. What is to see is where that will lead to the future premieres of what was the most beloved and praised animated film company in the world.
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The ‘Lightyear’ flat tire is more than a setback for Disney. It’s a problem for the future of Pixar