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“Inside Out 2” Opens With a $155 Million Domestic Total, the Second-highest Ever for an Animation


This past weekend, Pixar and Disney provided a healthy dosage of happiness at the box office.

With an expected domestic opening weekend of $155 million, “Inside Out 2” became the second-highest animated film to open in theaters and the first since Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” to gross over $100 million.

Interestingly, Disney does not classify its live-action 2019 version of “The Lion King,” which made $191.7 million in its first showing, as an animation picture.

Over the weekend, “Inside Out 2” is predicted to earn $295 million worldwide.

“Let’s all say ‘welcome back’ to Disney, Pixar, and the summer box office,” Box Office Theory founder and CEO Shawn Robbins remarked.

Following the relaxation of pandemic restrictions and the return of moviegoers to theaters, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation both found it difficult to reclaim their positions at the box office. Parents were conditioned to look for new Disney films on streaming services rather than in theaters, even when they did make a comeback to the big screen. This was because Disney chose to release a select number of animated features exclusively on Disney+.

Disney’s problems were made worse by the perception among many viewers that the company’s material had become unduly existential and overly focused on social themes that were out of the purview of young audiences.

“Inside Out 2’s powerful debut is a breath of fresh air, as many narratives about the two studios and moviegoing have been written about recently,” Robbins remarked.

The movie is the seventh Pixar production to gross over $100 million on its North American premiere, and it is the studio’s second-biggest opening weekend ticket seller, trailing only 2018’s “The Incredibles 2,” which brought in $182.6 million. EntTelligence data indicates that about 12 million people saw the movie in theaters.

According to Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian, “This is obviously a big win for theaters.” “Pixar wins even more with this.”

Due to a dual labor strike that shut down film sets for almost five months last year, the pandemic-related production shutdowns have made it difficult for the theater sector to release as many films this year. Comscore data shows that as a result, ticket sales have decreased by 26% from 2023 levels and by 42% from 2019 levels. The domestic box office was at $2.8 billion going into this weekend.

The 2024 box office has struggled to maintain a steady pace of releases and ticket sales, despite some exceptional performances from movies like Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment’s “Dune: Part Two,” Warner Bros. and Toho’s “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” and Universal’s “Kung Fu Panda 4.”

For the first time since 2009, a Marvel Cinematic Universe title was absent from this year’s early summer schedule. These movies usually debut for $100 million to $200 million, but “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019 broke the record with $357.1 million. Rather, Universal’s “The Fall Guy” made $28 million at opening this year.

According to Comscore’s Dergarabedian, fewer movies and blockbusters would cause the summer box office to drop by as much as $800 million compared to 2023 and have repercussions for the entire year. After all, 40% of the overall domestic box office revenue each year usually comes from the critical summer season, which spans from the first weekend in May through Labor Day.

One positive development for the industry is “Inside Out 2.” With $82.5 million in first-weekend ticket sales, it surpasses “Dune: Part Two” to claim the title of greatest domestic premiere of 2024.

Does this performance allay worries about changing consumer behavior? Of course not, but it should give hope to those who believed that Disney or Pixar had permanently lost its commercial appeal due to their excessively aggressive streaming strategies and poorly executed movies, which combined to reduce some of their audiences in recent years, according to Robbins.

And to round up the summer and the year, some major players will be joining.

Marvel’s first R-rated film, “Deadpool and Wolverine,” is scheduled to premiere in theaters in July and is anticipated to have a successful opening weekend in addition to consistent ticket sales for the course of its run.

Next, “Beetlejuice” Early September sees the release of “Beetlejuice,” while October brings “Joker: Folie a Deux” and “Venom: The Last Dance,” and November brings “Gladiator II,” “Moana 2,” and “Wicked.” December will also see the release of “Mufasa: The Lion King,” “Sonic the Hedgehog 3,” and “Kraven the Hunter.”

Source: NBC News

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