Lightyear did not go to infinity (or beyond) in its first weekend in theaters: Pixar’s first major theatrical release since March 2020 blasted off with $51 million in its debut weekend in North America, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Not only did it open lower than expected, the AP reports, but it also failed to conquer Jurassic World: Dominion, which held on to the first-place spot with $58.7 million its second weekend. It is a mixed bag for Disney and Pixar as Lightyear, an origin story about the movie that inspired the space ranger action figure in the Toy Story movies, is one of the biggest launches for an animated family film over the pandemic. Including international showings, which grossed $34.6 million, Lightyear‘s global opening weekend totals to $85.6 million.
But expectations were higher for such a high-profile release based on a beloved, well-known character. Going into the weekend, some analysts had pegged Lightyear for a $70 million North American debut. “The expectations are always incredibly high for any Pixar movie, particularly one that has a direct connection to the Toy Story brand,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker Comscore. Critics were mostly favorable to Lightyear, which features Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear and a supporting voice cast that includes Keke Palmer and Taika Waititi. Directed by Angus MacLane, it currently holds a 77% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences gave it an A- CinemaScore.
Below are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
- Jurassic World: Dominion, $58.7 million
- Lightyear, $51 million.
- Top Gun: Maverick, $44 million.
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, $4.2 million.
- The Bob’s Burgers Movie, $1.1 million.
- The Bad Guys, $890,000.
- Everything Everywhere All at Once, $959,631.
- Downton Abbey: A New Era, $830,000.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2, $228,000.
- Brian and Charles, $198,000.
(Read more box office stories.)