Lightyear was Pixar’s triumphant return to the box office, but it wasn’t everything the studio hoped.
The Chris Evans-led Pixar film opened to an estimated $51 million at the North American box office this weekend. The figure opened less than $30 million under what industry experts were projecting, which was around $75 million to $90 million. The film took in $34.6 Million internationally, bringing its worldwide total to $85.6 million worldwide.
Lightyear took the number two spot at the box office, as Universal’s Jurassic World: Dominion made an estimated $58.6 million.
Despite the low-end opening for Lightyear, the film could find some legs over the next two weeks. There isn’t much family film competition right now. Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me prequel, Minions: The Rise of Gru, the next major family film, doesn’t hit theaters until July 1. You could look at Pixar’s other films that opened at around $50 million, such as Ratatouille, Cars 3, and Coco, as they would all go on to make over $600 million worldwide. One could say Lightyear is poised to find some legs.
A sci-fi action-adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, Lightyear follows the legendary Space Ranger after he’s marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he’s joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.
The film features the voices of Chris Evans as accomplished Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear, Uzo Aduba as his commander and best friend Alisha Hawthorne, and Peter Sohn as Sox. Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, and Dale Soules lend their voices to the Junior Zap Patrol’s Izzy Hawthorne, Mo Morrison, and Darby Steel, respectively, and James Brolin can be heard as the enigmatic Zurg. The voice cast also includes Mary McDonald-Lewis as onboard computer I.V.A.N., Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Commander Burnside, Efren Ramirez as Airman Diaz, and Keira Hairston as Young Izzy. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director Finding Dory), produced by Galyn Susman (Toy Story That Time Forgot), and featuring a score by award-winning composer Michael Giacchino (The Batman, Up), Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear is now in theaters.