Lightyear’s box office performance went from bad to worse during its second weekend. The film plummeted over 65%, landing in fifth place with an estimated $17.6 million.
The four films that finished ahead of Lightyear: Elvis ($31.5M), Top Gun: Maverick ($30M), Jurassic World Dominion ($26.1M), and The Black Phone ($23.2M).
As we pointed out last week, we won’t really understand whether Lightyear’s performance is indicative of a broader market trend until Universal releases Minions: The Rise of Gru next Friday. If Minions stumbled too, then perhaps there’s a larger narrative.
Looking at Lightyear on its own though, it appears to simply be a misfire from Pixar. And what a misfire it has turned out to be. Over the last decade, only one Pixar theatrical release in non-Covid times has earned less than $20 million in its second theatrical weekend: The Good Dinosaur. Lightyear, the most unfavorably reviewed Pixar film outside of the three entries in the Cars franchise, is now the second film to join that lonely list.
And in the 21st century, just four Pixar films have grossed under $200 million – Cars 2, Cars 3, The Good Dinosaur, and Onward. (The latter has an asterisk because it was removed from theaters after two weekends due to Covid-related theater shutdown.) Lightyear is now all but guaranteed to join this list of Pixar underperformers.
Many are now awaiting Disney’s announcement of when Lightyear will hit Disney+, and how that announcement might affect the film’s box office presence. One popular theory which could explain Lightyear’s poor box office performance is that the company’s recent straight-to-streaming releases of Turning Red and Luca, as well as an incredibly brief 28-day theatrical window for Encanto, have families thinking they may not have to wait long to catch Lightyear from the comforts and relative low cost of home.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, A24 released stop-motion/live-action hybrid Marcel the Shell With Shoes On on six screens in New York and L.A., pulling $169,606. The film’s $28,267 per location proved the highest of any film last weekend and could signal a promising future for the inch-high seashell when A24 sends him out into the wider world in the coming weeks. Adding to its box office prospects, the film currently boasts a 100% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie, rapidly closing in on its streaming debut, managed to generate another $513,000 in ticket sales pushing its total to $31M, while Dreamworks Animation’s The Bad Guys added $439,975 to its tally, which stands at $95.4M.
In limited release, Phil Tippet’s Mad God surpassed the $100,000 mark in the third week of its theatrical run. Playing in 26 theaters nationwide, it grossed $19,000 over the weekend, bringing the film’s total take to $103,838. Netflix’s The Sea Beast screened in five theaters ahead of its streaming launch in July, but the streamer does not report box office figures.
Jamie Lang contributed to this report.