6:40am PT by Pamela McClintock
Box-Office Preview: 'Incredibles 2' Could Fly to Record $140M Opening
Disney and Pixar's Incredibles 2 could fly as high as $140 million in its North American debut this weekend, a record for an animated movie.
The current champ is fellow Pixar sequel Finding Dory, which swam away with $135 million domestically on the same weekend in 2016. Animated family movies aren't known for mega-openings; rather, they can enjoy a longer run than live-action summer event pics. Disney is projecting a domestic start in the $120 million-$140 million range for Incredibles 2, which centers on a lovable family of superheroes.
Incredibles 2 is the first studio animated film of the 2018 summer season. The summer box office, built around tentpoles, could use a big win after the disappointing performance of Disney and Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story. To date, the season's big winner is Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War, which is only the fourth film in history to cross $2 billion at the global box office, not adjusted for inflation. Conversely, Solo will have trouble earning much more than $350 million worldwide.
Both Fandango and Atom Tickets are reporting that Incredibles 2 has become the top-selling animated pic in their respective histories in terms of advance ticket sales.
It has been nearly 14 years since The Incredibles played on the big screen, opening to $70.5 million in November 2004 on its way to earning $633 million globally, not adjusted for inflation.
Incredibles 2 was directed by Brad Bird, who also wrote and helmed the first film. Along with Bird, Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson and John Ratzenberger reprise their voice roles. New additions to the cast include Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush and Isabella Rossellini.
The sequel follows the Parrs as they try to balance having a normal life with their superhero powers. Bob Parr (also known as Mr. Incredible and voiced by Nelson) is a house husband who must deal with son Dash's (Huck Milner) sarcastic remarks, daughter Violet's (Vowell) teenage rebellion and baby Jack-Jack's burgeoning superpowers, while his wife, Helen/Elastigirl (Hunter), heads off to save the world. Soon, the whole family must suit up to battle a new villain, Screenslaver.
Incredibles 2 is the first Pixar release to hit theaters after Disney's announcement last week that animation chief and Pixar co-founder John Lasseter will exit the studio at the end of the year. Lasseter took a sabbatical late last year after saying he had committed unspecified "missteps" that left some employees feeling uncomfortable.
Incredibles 2 will easily win the weekend. The female-led spinoff Ocean's 8 is tipped to come in No. 2 with $20 million-plus in its second weekend after opening to a strong $41.6 million last weekend.
Warner Bros. will have dual duties between Ocean's 8 and its new ensemble comedy, Tag.
Tag is tracking to open in the $12 million-$15 million range, underscoring the difficulties that comedies continue to face at the box office, even when boasting a star-studded cast. Hoping to rally male moviegoers in particular, the pic stars Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Hannibal Buress as childhood friends who, as grown men, continue to play an annual game of tag.
Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Annabelle Wallis and Leslie Bibb also star, with Jeff Tomsic helming in his feature directorial debut. The story is based on an article in The Wall Street Journal.
The weekend's third new offering is Sony's Superfly, from music video helmer Director X. The studio puts the film's expected five-day opening between $10 million and $12 million, but that could be tough, based on Wednesday's opening-day gross of $1.2 million. Superfly opened in fifth place, and received a B+ CinemaScore.
It is an understatement to say that Superfly, a remake of the 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly, was made on an accelerated schedule. The $16 million film began production in mid-January in time for its mid-June release. The music-centric movie includes original songs from Future, who is also a producer alongside Joel Silver.
Superfly stars Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams, Lex Scott Davis and Jennifer Morrison, and centers on a career criminal that desperately tries to escape the Atlanta drug scene.