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Pixar has done it again.
Disney and Pixar’s Incredibles 2 flew to a record-shattering $180 million from 4,410 theaters at the domestic box office over the weekend, blowing past all expectations. Not only did the sequel score the biggest launch ever for an animated film — Pixar’s Finding Dory was the previous champ with $135 million — it scored the eighth-biggest opening of all time, not adjusted for inflation.
Incredibles 2, about a lovable family of superheroes, also danced past Beauty and the Beast ($174.6 million) to boast the biggest bow in history for a PG-rated title. Overseas, it debuted to a stellar $51.5 million from its first 25 markets for a global launch of $231.5 million. In many markets, including Mexico, Australia and Russia, the movie posted Pixar’s best openings to date.
Families were hardly the only members of the audience. More than 31 percent of all ticket buyers in the U.S. were adults sans kids, while fanboy-centric Imax theaters turned in a hefty $14.1 million.
“The movie played to everybody. You definitely don’t get to this level without reaching across all segments of the audience, including adults and teens,” says Disney distribution chief Cathleen Taff. “Our evenings were stronger than with most animated films.”
The sequel is the 20th movie from the storied animation studio and establishes a new franchise for Pixar and Disney. It is also the first Pixar release to hit theaters after Disney announced last week that animation chief and Pixar co-founder John Lasseter will exit the studio at the end of the year.
Every single Pixar film has earned some variation of an A CinemaScore, and Incredibles 2 was no exception, garnering an A+. The first Incredibles, released 14 years ago, likewise earned a perfect A+.
Incredibles 2 surely benefited from pent-up demand. It is the first animated film of the summer season and opened in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which failed to galvanize moviegoers in a major way. Disney and Lucasfilms’ Solo finished the weekend with a disappointing global cume of $339.5 million, making it unlikely that the Star Wars installment will earn much more than $350 million all in. Conversely, Disney and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War delivered another victory as it overtook Titanic domestically. Infinity War finished Sunday with a North American cume of $664.2 million, compared to $659.4 million for Titanic, not adjusted for inflation.
Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was the big winner overseas, earning another $173.6 million — including a China debut of $111.9 million — for an early foreign total of $370 million as it prepares to unfurl in North America on Friday.
Incredibles 2, like other animated films, will roll out slowly offshore.
Brad Bird returned to direct Incredibles 2, while Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson and John Ratzenberger reprised their voice roles. New additions to the voice cast include Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush and Isabella Rossellini.
Outside of Incredibles 2, the weekend was decidedly mixed. New Line’s male-led ensemble comedy Tag earned $14.6 million from 3,383 theaters in its debut, becoming the latest R-rated comedy to do muted business. Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Hannibal Buress star in the movie as childhood friends who, as grown men, continue to play an annual game of tag. The film’s release was timed to Father’s Day.
Warners president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein believes Tag will have a strong multiple, much as New Line’s Game Night did earlier this year. That film opened to $17 million on its way to earning nearly $70 million domestically.
Tag, which bowed at No. 3, wasn’t able to top fellow Warner Bros. offering Ocean’s 8, which placed No. 2 in its sophomore outing with $19.6 million for a 10-day domestic total of $79.2 million. The female-led spinoff fell slightly more than expected, or 53 percent, possibly because of competition from Tag. Both films played to older audiences, while Tag turned out to be a slightly bigger draw among women (51 percent) than men.
Solo followed at No. 4 with $9.1 million, while Deadpool 2 rounded out the top five with $8.8 million.
A24’s horror pic Hereditary placed No. 6 with $7 million in its second weekend for a 10-day domestic total of $27.2 million. The critically acclaimed film fell 49 percent.
Sony’s Superfly failed to impress, earning an estimated $8.4 million in its five-day debut to come in No. 7. At the same time, the film cost a modest $16 million to produce. Helmed by Director X, the music-centric movie includes original songs from Future, who was also a producer alongside Joel Silver. The remake 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.
Opening in far fewer theaters was Gotti, starring John Travolta as the infamous mobster John Gotti. The pic shot blanks in many of the 25 cities where it played, grossing a forgettable $1.6 million from 503 theaters despite Travolta’s star status and a stop at the Cannes Film Festival, among other high-profile promotions. It is the lowest opening of Travolta’s career for a movie rolling out across the country, although comparisons are tough because of its smaller footprint. Gotti did okay business in some markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas and Miami.
Kevin Connolly (Entourage) directed the indie film, which also stars Kelly Preston, Travolta’s real-life wife, and Stacy Keach.
Gotti — which currently sports a 0 rating on Rotten Tomatoes — endured its own drama in getting to the big screen. Lionsgate was originally set to release the film, but the producers wanted a full-fledged theatrical release, so they took back the rights. Sunrider and Vertical Entertainment, along with the controversial subscription service MoviePass, are partners on the film.
At the specialty box office, several docs continued to impress, including Won’t You Be My Neighbor? The Focus Features release, which focuses on the late TV personality Fred Rogers, earned nearly $1 million from only 96 theaters, while Magnolia and Participant’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg doc RBG crossed $10 million domestically.
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