Not many businesses would consider a $118-million weekend a disappointment. But that’s Hollywood for you.
Disney had expected Toy Story 4 to fire up its rockets, flip its little space wings open and fly to the upper reaches of the financial stratosphere—$140 million at least. Some suggested that even a galactic $200 million opening wasn’t out of the question. Alas—at least for Disney and Pixar—the latest Toy Story movie couldn’t quite snap the bonds of gravity. But give the flick credit for at least falling with style.
Toy Story 4’s $118 million was good enough for a walk-off box-office win, besting its nearest competitor by about $104 million. It also marked the biggest debut ever for a Toy Story movie—topping the previous record of $110.3 million that Toy Story 3 opened with back in 2010. It’s the fourth biggest opening for an animated movie ever as well. Not too bad for this posse of plasticine playthings.
And even though the bean counters at Disney may have been a little disappointed by Toy Story 4’s debut, I think they’ll get over it. In 2019, only two movies have posted better opening weekends: Avengers: Endgame ($357.1 million) and Captain Marvel ($153.4 million). Both of those films are Disney properties, too, by the way. Throw in Aladdin’s $91.5 million first-weekend take, and the Mouse House owns the top four movie debuts of the year.
Still, Toy Story 4’s lackluster opening frame reinforces the notion that folks just aren’t throwing money at summertime sequels and reboots like they used to. Or maybe they’ve just outgrown their toys.
Another data point for both arguments: Child’s Play, the controversial and apparently unnecessary slashing rehash of that long-running horror franchise. The evil doll Chucky hacked his way to about $14.1 million—falling short of the studio’s modest expectations. Perhaps the doll will stay dead this time.
A phalanx of holdovers populates the balanace of the top five. Aladdin continues to grant Disney’s wishes, banking $12.2 million for third place. The live-action remake has now swept $287.5 million (domestically) onto its flying carpet, making it the year’s third-highest-grossing film.
Anna, the weekend’s only other new wide-release movie outside the toy brigade up top, landed with a thud in 11th place, earning $3.5 million.