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Will 'Toy Story 4' Make a Bid for the Animated Opening Weekend Record?

by Brad Brevet
 

 
June 20, 2019

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Disney and Pixar's Toy Story 4 brought in an estimated $47.4 million on Friday and is currently expected to deliver around $122-125 million for the three-day weekend, well below Mojo's pre-weekend forecast below and even struggling to meet Disney's $140 million expectations. The performance, however, will be the largest of the franchise and with an "A" CinemaScore it's also important to remember, as noted in our preview below, previous record-breaking Pixar openings debuted over Father's Day weekend. It will be interesting to watch just how this one progresses over the course of the summer months and if it can make up the opening weekend deficit.

UA Releasing's Child's Play is also looking to fall short of expectations after an estimated $6.1 million on Friday. The film was expected to deliver north of $16 million this weekend, but at this time is likely to finish closer to $14-16 million. Friday audiences gave the film a "C+" CinemaScore.

Lionsgate and Summit's Anna brought in an estimated $1.36 million on Friday and is looking at a three-day around $3.5-4 million. The action thriller received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Disney and Pixar's Toy Story 4 brought in $12 million from Thursday evening previews. The performance is the second largest preview gross for an animated film ever, coming in well behind the $18.5 million in previews for Incredibles 2 and well ahead of the $9 million in previews for Finding Dory.

UA Releasing's Child's Play delivered a strong $1.65 million in previews, topping the $1.4 million Ma brought in a few weeks ago in advance of a $18 million debut and just ahead of the $1.55 million in previews for Insidious 3, which debuted with over $22 million back in August 2015.

Lionsgate and Summit's Anna delivered an estimated $325k in Thursday previews from approximately 1,700 locations. The film begins playin in 2,114 theaters today.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: After several weeks of disappointing debuts, this weekend should see things turn around as Disney and Pixar unveil Toy Story 4 to what will be one of the largest debuts for an animated feature ever and UA Releasing's Child's Play remake is also looking like it will generate a solid debut over the three-day. Otherwise, Lionsgate's release of the Summit actioner Anna is looking like a lightweight performer at the lower end of the weekend top ten if not potentially falling outside altogether.

The weekend's #1 film is a no-brainer. Toy Story 4 has already generated rave reviews, scoring a 98% on RottenTomatoes and an 83 on Metacritic, to go along with record-breaking pre-sale figures, which Fandango.com reported outperformed sales for last year's Incredibles 2, which delivered a record $182.6 million opening, going on to become the only animated film to not only top $500 million at the domestic box office, but it reached over $608 million once its run came to a close.

Previously, Toy Story 3 was Pixar's first film to ever open over $100 million, from there Finding Dory set a new animated opening record with $135 million before Incredibles 2 blew that record away two years later. Now the question is whether Toy Story 4 can top even that monster number with some suggesting it could climb as high as $200 million, though Disney is remaining conservative, anticipating an opening around $140+ million from a massive 4,575 locations, the second widest opening ever behind only Avengers: Endgame.

As always is the case with releases expected to debut this large it's difficult to speculate just how well they will perform. A look at IMDb page view data shows Toy Story 4 pacing ahead of Finding Dory while at the same time it is well behind Incredibles 2 over the two weeks leading up to release. Given the longevity of the Toy Story franchise, and the immense brand awareness, it would seem reasonable to anticipate a record-breaking performance this weekend, but previous Pixar releases, including Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory, opened over Father's Day weekend, which, as we saw last weekend, helped bolster several of the weekend's films to stronger than usual Sunday performances. So, while we wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Toy Story 4 out perform our expectations, we're going out with a forecast around $165 million and we'll see how things turn out once the dust settles.

Internationally, Toy Story 4 will open day-and-date in approximately 64% of the overseas marketplace including debuts in Australia, Brazil, Korea and Russia where the film opens today along with openings in China, Mexico, Spain and the UK on Friday. Additional markets will open throughout the summer.

For a whole different kind of "kid's" film, look for UA Releasing's Child's Play to land a second place finish as it debuts in over 3,000 locations and we're looking for an opening anywhere from $16-19 million for the R-rated horror. An excellent piece of counter-programming, the film seems very well timed, arriving in theaters as Universal's Ma enters its fourth week in release and the pic is pacing very close to that film when looking at IMDb page view data. Another film we're seeing similarities to is Insidious: Chapter 3, which opened with over $22 million in June 2015.

Universal and Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets 2 is looking at a third place finish and right now we're looking at a third weekend dip around -50% or so for a $12 million three-day and a domestic cume nearing $120 million by end of day Sunday should our forecast hold. Thing is, it could fall farther deepening on just how big a chunk Toy Story 4 takes out of it this weekend.

Sony's Men in Black International will likely follow-up its disappointing debut last weekend with a steep dip this week. Right now we're going with a -60% drop and a $11.4 million weekend. That said, the film did see an uptick on Father's Day, which could lead to an even steeper drop this weekend, but for now we're giving the pic the benefit of the doubt.

Look for Disney's Aladdin to round out the top five, falling around -40% this weekend for a $10 million three-day and a domestic cume approaching $285 million by the end of the weekend.

Outside the top five is where we expect to find Lionsgate's release of Summit's Anna. Directed by Luc Besson, the R-rated actioner features Russian supermodel Sasha Luss in the lead role with supporting performances from Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy Helen Mirren. The pic will debut in over 2,100 locations this weekend with the studio anticipating an opening in the low-to-mid single digits, which is where we're landing, looking at a debut around $4.5 million.

Finally, in limited release, Neon will debut Wild Rose in four theaters.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Toy Story 4 (4,575 theaters) - $165.0 M
  • Child's Play (3,007 theaters) - $17.0 M
  • The Secret Life of Pets 2 (3,801 theaters) - $12.3 M
  • Men in Black International (4,224 theaters) - $12.0 M
  • Aladdin (3,435 theaters) - $11.0 M
  • Rocketman (2,414 theaters) - $5.6 M
  • Anna (2,114 theaters) - $4.5 M
  • Shaft (2,952 theaters) - $4.4 M
  • Dark Phoenix (2,054 theaters) - $4.3 M
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2,368 theaters) - $4.3 M

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