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‘Lightyear’ Opens at No. 2, as ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Holds Strong

June 19, 2022 Updated Sun., June 19, 2022 at 8:29 p.m.

By Brooks Barnes New York Times

Buzz Lightyear failed to reach box office hyperspace over the weekend. But it was unclear why.

“Lightyear,” the first Pixar movie to be released in theaters in more than two years, sold an estimated $51 million in tickets at 4,255 locations in the United States and Canada in its first three days in release, according to Comscore, which compiles box office data. While stout, that total fell nearly 30% below prerelease analyst expectations and was not enough to eclipse “Jurassic World Dominion” as the No. 1 multiplex draw.

“This is a soft opening for a spinoff of one of the most successful animation series of all time,” said David Gross, a consultant who publishes a subscription newsletter on box office numbers.

Overseas, “Lightyear” collected an additional $34.6 million.

“In nearly all international markets, ‘Lightyear’ is opening before upcoming school holidays and so long-term play is key,” Disney said in a box office report Sunday.

The movie was banned in 14 small box office markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia because it briefly depicts a same-sex relationship. Chinese authorities have not yet said whether they will clear “Lightyear” for release. But box office analysts are not hopeful.

The $200 million movie revisits Pixar’s hugely successful “Toy Story” franchise. But “Lightyear” is a prequel about the human Buzz Lightyear – who served as inspiration for the toy Buzz fans know and love.

Being human, Buzz sounds different, with Chris Evans providing his voice. (Tim Allen voiced Buzz the action figure in “Toy Story,” released in 1995, and three sequels.)

Reviews were mostly positive, although to a lesser degree than normal for a Pixar release. Domestic ticket buyers gave “Lightyear” an A-minus grade in CinemaScore exit polls.

So why did “Lightyear” disappoint?

Disney has trained families to expect Pixar movies to arrive on the Disney+ streaming service; the last three Pixar films – “Soul,” “Luca” and “Turning Red” – debuted online, with Disney citing the coronavirus pandemic as the reason. .

Competition from holdover films was strong. “Jurassic World Dominion” from Universal took in about $58.7 million in North America, for a two-week domestic total of about $250 million. “Lightyear” was second. “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount) remained healthy in third place, collecting roughly $44 million and lifting its four-week domestic total to $466 million.

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