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Pixar and Disney’s critically acclaimed Toy Story 4 buzzed to the top of the North American box office chart over the weekend with $118 million, one of the biggest openings of all time for an animated movie despite coming in behind expectations.
The family tentpole bowed simultaneously in numerous foreign markets for an international launch of $120 million, bringing its global haul to $238 million, a record for the genre. It did huge business in Latin America and Europe, but struggled in China, where it took in $13.4 million.
Heading into the frame, prerelease tracking had suggested Toy Story 4 could debut in the $140 million to $165 million range in North America. Either way, the movie is a needed win for the summer box office after a series of stumbles. It is only the third release of 2019 to cross $100 million in its start so far, and gives Disney the four best openings of the year to date.
Fellow Pixar titles Incredibles 2 ($183 million) and Finding Dory ($135 million) top the list of biggest animated openings, followed by DWA’s Shrek the Third ($125 million). One difference between Toy Story 4 and the previous Pixar titles is that the latter unfurled one week earlier over Father’s Day weekend. This time out, Pixar had to contend with rival film The Secret Life of Pets 2.
Animated movies aren’t known for their mega openings; rather, they can have long legs.
“This movie has great word of mouth and will run long through the summer. I don’t deny that tracking had us at higher numbers, but this is a huge debut and shows how much people love these characters,” says Disney distribution chief Cathleen Taff.
Toy Story 3 opened in June 2010 to $126 million, preceded by Toy Story 2‘s $101.8 million bow in 1999 and Toy Story‘s $60.4 million launch in 1995. (All grosses have been adjusted for inflation. Unadjusted, the same grosses are $110.3 million, $57.4 million and $29.1 million, respectively.)
Toy Story 4, directed by Josh Cooley, sports a stellar 98 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as earning an A CinemaScore from audiences. Its lengthy list of A-list voice talent sees the return of Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear and Annie Potts as Bo Peep (a character who was absent from Toy Story 3).
New toys include the conflicted Forky (Tony Hale), the doll Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks), the comedic duo Bunny and Ducky (Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, respectively) and stunt motorbike rider Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves).
Families made up 66 percent of the audience, followed by adults (27 percent) and teens (7 percent).
Overseas, Toy Story 4 grossed a massive $23.4 million in Mexico, the third-biggest start of all time. The pic also scored the biggest opening ever in Argentina ($6.9 million), while in the U.K., it brought in $15 million, the best showing of all time for an animated movie.
Placing No. 2 on the weekend behind Toy Story 4 was United Artists’ Child’s Play, a remake of the 1988 film about a menacing doll named Chucky. The R-rated horror pic opened to $14 million from 3,007 locations to come in on the low end of expectations.
Mark Hamill and Aubrey Plaza star in Child’s Play. The film has a 60 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while it received a C+ CinemaScore from moviegoers.
The performance of Anna, the weekend’s third new nationwide offering, was grim. From controversial director Luc Besson and released in the U.S. by Lionsgate/Summit, the crime thriller took in $3.5 million from 2,114 cinemas in a career-worst bow for Besson.
It is also the lowest wide opening for Helen Mirren and Luke Evans, who star in the film opposite newcomer Sasha Luss.
Those who did show up to see Anna gave it a B+ CinemaScore.
The pic’s release was put on hold last year when Belgian-Dutch actress Sand Van Roy filed a complaint in May accusing Besson of drugging and raping her. The Paris prosecutor’s office later dismissed the rape charges. In between, more women came forward alleging sexual misconduct against the filmmaker, who has denied all such claims.
Among holdovers, Disney’s Aladdin stayed high up on the chart in its fifth weekend, coming in at No. 3 with $12.2 million for a domestic cume of $287.5 million and $810.1 million globally.
Sony’s Men in Black: International tumbled 64 percent in its second outing to come in at No. 4 with $10.8 million for a muted domestic total of $52 million. Overseas, it pulled in another $30.2 million for a foreign cume of $129.4 million and $182.1 million globally.
Illumination and Universal’s Secret Life of Pets 2 rounded out the top five with $10.8 million in its third frame for a domestic cume of $129.4 million and $194.2 million worldwide.
Elsewhere, Paramount’s Rocketman grew its global total to $153.4 million globally, including $177.3 million in North America.
Among other adult offerings, Mindy Kaling and Amazon Studios’ dramedy Late Night continued to struggle, falling 49 percent in its second weekend of nationwide play to $2.6 million. The film’s domestic total stands at $10.7 million.
Weekend Box Office 6/23/19
|1. Toy Story 4||$118M||$118.0M||4,575||1|
|2. Child’s Play||$14.1M||$14.1M||3,007||1|
|4. Men in Black International||$10.8M||$52.7M||4,224||2|
|5. The Secret Life of Pets 2||$10.3M||$117.6M||3,804||3|
|7. John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum||$4.1M||$156.1M||1,607||6|
|8. Godzilla: King of the Monsters||$3.7M||$102.3M||2,368||4|
|9. ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’||$3.6M||$60.1M||2,054||3|
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