‘Toy Story 4’ Eyeing 3rd Best Animated Pic Opening Of All-Time With $123M+, But Did Disney Leave Money On The Table?

The opening for Disney’s Toy Story 4 is now projected to be around $123.7M, below the $140M that Disney was seeing, and more aggressive $160M-$200M industry estimates. Let’s remember a few things here, first for a fourthquel in a 24-year old franchise, this is an excellent opening, with great exits (A CinemaScore,  Screen Engine/ComScore PostTrak numbers of 89% in the top two boxes with an 75% recommend for the general crowd). If the numbers keep up, Toy Story 4 will be the third best opening for an animated movie behind Incredibles 2 ($182.6M) and Finding Dory ($135M). Seriously, what studio wouldn’t want to have Toy Story 4‘s opening right now?

‘Toy Story 4’ Lines Up Biggest Promo Push For Disney Animation Title At $150M With Chrysler, Go RVing, McDonald’s & More

Now in regards to the ‘Wha happen?’ to Toy Story 4, and why it’s coming in lower, analysts I’ve spoken with believe money has been left on the table here in regards to the Pixar film. For some reason, Disney, which traditionally programs Pixar films on Father’s Day weekend (including next June’s Soul and the Pixar untitled pic in 2021, didn’t do so this year with Toy Story 4, and that’s what’s leading to the lower numbers. Why didn’t Disney go with Toy Story 4 during Father’s Day weekend? Possibly due to the fact that they wanted more of a global day and date launch (Toy Story 4 is expected to do $100M+ overseas this weekend; typically animated pics rollout abroad capitalizing on school holidays versus the global day and date grab. The biggest overseas opening for an animated film belongs to Fox/Blue Sky’s Ice Age:Dawn of the Dinosaurs at $151.6M). While Incredibles 2 had an 11% Saturday to Sunday dip, some are projecting a 20% one for Toy Story 4. Also even though Father’s Day falls on a Sunday, people still go to the movies on Friday and Saturday. The reason why we saw those $160M-$200M forecasts is because some were running numbers for Toy Story 4 using the  Incredibles 2 model and (which got them to a $205M projection), Finding Dory (which got them to a $154M forecast). But when you run Toy Story 4 numbers using Ralph Breaks the Internet as a model, using June numbers the result is around $128M. The takeaway here: Just because it’s a Disney movie, doesn’t mean it can be dated anywhere.

Despite one big tracking service having $150M for Toy Story 4 four weeks ago, we heard $200M at the time because some were assuming Toy Story 4 would simply be working off the gas of Incredibles 2. But remember also too that Dory and Incredibles 2 were Part 2s 13-14 years in the waiting, while Toy Story 4 is, duh, the fourth title in the series, nine years after its last chapter.

Hopefully, as they say in the tracking biz, the ‘tag-alongs’ will help make-up for any lost Father’s Day business on Sunday with the Pixar fourthquel. Current expectations are that Toy Story 4 eases around 10% today from yesterday’s $47.6M (which includes Thursday’s $12M previews). That Friday-to-Saturday dip is on par with Toy Story 3 and Inside Out, the latter a female skewing property like Toy Story 4 which currently has in PostTrak exits 55% females to 45% males, 58% moms to 42% dads, and even split between under 12 girls and boys. Families were out in bulk last night making up 45% of the crowd to 55%. Updated leading demos for Toy Story 4: Women over 25 (29% with a 91% positive rating), Women under 25 (26% with a 90% rating), Men over 25 (25% with a 86% rating), and Men under 25 (20% with an 89% rating). Diversity breakdown is comprised of 49% Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, 12% African Americans, and 12% Asian. Toy Story 4 played best in the West, Mid-West and South-West, but was great everywhere throughout.

As we detailed last night, Disney rang the bell for Toy Story 4 around the world, partnering with advertisers like Chrysler (animated movies hardly ever have big auto partners, so amazing there), Go RVing, McDonald’s, Google and more for a promo partner campaign valued at $150M — the highest for a Disney animated film, and a number that’s right up there with Marvel movies.

UA/Orion’s Child’s Play grossed $6.1M yesterday with a $15.1M opening, which is proof that the genre can still be relied upon as counter-programming in the current marketplace. The shared experience in the theater is more crucial then ever now in the current millennial social media environment where split decisions are made on the fly when headed to the theater. If you’re not a ‘shared experience’ type of film, then you’re dead at the B.O., which is why we see a number of comedies not working right now. Horror still works on the big screen given its shared experience vibe. We hear this reboot which stars Aubrey Plaza and a voiceover by Mark Hamill was more expensive than Blumhouse’s Ma ($13.5M to $5M before P&A), but still inexpensive enough. C+ CinemaScore which is average for a horror movie. PostTrak demos show Males over 25 at 31% out in force, followed by females under 25 (24%), then females over 25 (23%) and guys under 25 (22%). The 13-17 set making their way in the movie (around 10%) loved the pic the most at 72% positive. Overall, crowd was 53% Male and 75% between 18-34 years old. Diversity breakdown was 42% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, 21% African American, and 12% Asian. The reboot played best in the West, East, & South-East, and South-West where it accounted for close to 81% of business versus other films in those four regions which did about 76% of their tickets sales.


As we mentioned yesterday, once people buy a ticket and watch Luc Besson’s Anna, they enjoy it and we’re seeing that in the exits with a B+ CinemaScore. However, we hear the digital P&A spend here was less than regular Lionsgate meat-and-potato action movies. Hence, the $1.3M business last and $3.4M opening. This is less than the low double digits put up by any Lionsgate/CanalPlus Liam Neeson movie and lower than the $7.4M opening posted by Jason Statham’s tried Mechanic: Resurrection. Given Besson being swept up in the #MeToo era after rape allegations brought against him by several women, Anna arrives in the states with much taint. That story is well on the critics’ mind as they slammed Anna with a 26% rating, but not on the general moviegoer’s. How is that? Well, Anna does look too indie and too similar to other shoot’ em ups to average moviegoers. Why then should they go? It’s a different story when Marvel Black Widow’s Scarlett Johansson stars in the film, and you have Universal’s P&A spend and a hot date like the end of July without any big competition, read Besson’s shoot ’em up Lucy five years ago which opened to $43.9M and legged out $126.7M.


Industry estimates see Toy Story 4 at $51M today, including last night’s $12M, on its way to around $136M for the weekend. That’s fantastic number even though it’s under some of the lofty projections many were seeing, i.e. $160M-$200M (Disney had spotted the movie at $140M+).

Let’s allow the weekend to play out, because there’s a lot of love here for the movie with PostTrak exits exploding at 5 stars for both general audiences and parents, and under 12 kids at 4 1/2. Huge 83% definite recommend here, with three out of the four quads well over 90% positive: Females 25+ (31%) love it at 91%, Females under 25 (26%) at 92%, Males under 25 (17%) at a huge 97% while guys over 25 (26%) are the lowest, but not by so much, with an 87% positive rating. Huge percentage of families last night at 40% (parents and kids combined) to general audience’s 60% share of foot traffic. These great exits could easily propel Toy Story 4 higher well into tonight and matinee business of the weekend. What’s clear is that sequelitis spell we were seeing is over for the time being (Again, blamed bad business on the latest string being bad movies, not sequels). At $136M, Toy Story 4 is feasibly on its way to beating the last chapter Toy Story 3 which opened to $110.3M and finaled at $415M domestic, $1.066 billion worldwide.

UA/Orion’s Child’s Play is laying claim to second place with $6M today, including last night’s $1.65M, on its way to a $15M opening. The 13-17 sect loves the movie the most at 90%, while Men under 25 (21%) and Females over 25 (26%) enjoy the pic equally near 80%.

Sony’s Men in Black: International is currently looking at 3rd place with $3.7M today, and $12.1M in weekend 2, -60%, for a 10-day of $54M.

Illumination/Universal’s Secret Life of Pet 2 in weekend 3 is spotting $3.6M today, and $11.8M (-52%) for a running total by Sunday of $119M.

Disney’s Aladdin takes 5th place in weekend 5 with an estimated $3.2M today, and $11.4M for the weekend, -34%, for a running total of $286.7M.


Lionsgate/EuropaCorp’s Anna not faring so well with $1.3M today and $3.3M outside the top 5. This despite the fact that once people get into the Luc Besson film, they love it with PostTrak showing 4 stars last night and males over 25 at 47% giving the pic an 81% and females over 25 at 28% giving the La Femme Nikita like movie an 82% positive. Anna cost $30M (Lionsgate only has the film in certain territories), significantly cheaper than Besson’s $200M-$210M budgeted sci-fi disaster Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets.  

UPDATE FRIDAY AM after Thursday night exclusive: Disney is reporting the Thursday night of Pixar’s Toy Story 4 exactly where we saw it last night — at $12M, which makes it the second best preview night for an animated movie after the studio’s Incredibles 2 ($18.5M). See our breakdown in the previous post, but the notion is that Toy Story 4 gets to north of $55M today on its way to a $150M-$160M-plus weekend.


United Artists Releasing Orion’s Child’s Play posted a great preview number last night with $1.65M, higher than Blumhouse/Universal’s Ma which made $1.4M. Child’s Play, a reboot of the famed late ’80s horror film, is expected to earn between $16M-$18M at 3007 locations this weekend, which on the high-end is what Ma opened up to.

Lionsgate/EuropaCorp’s female shoot ’em up Anna made $325K at 1,700 locations last night. The Luc Besson-directed model-turned-assassin pic expands to 2,114 locations and is expected to post a number in the low to mid single digits. That preview number is just below the $390K preview cash made by Lionsgate’s Jason Statham movie Mechanic: Resurrection which posted a $2.6M opening day, $7.4M opening weekend on its way to a $21.2M domestic final.


In regards to other films at the box office, Sony’s Men in Black: International may have gotten a leg up from Father’s Day which pushed its business from $28.5M on Sunday morning to an actual reported $30M opening, however, during the last four weekdays the fourthquel has been getting beat by Illumination/Universal’s Secret Life of Pets 2. Even though Pets 2 lead all films in regular release on Thursday with $3M (-9% from Wednesday), Men in Black: International won the week with $41.9M to the Illumination sequel’s $39M second week. The running total for Pets 2  is currently $107.3M. MIB4 made $2.1M yesterday in third place,  -18% from Wednesday. Disney’s Aladdin in its fourth week took in $2.4M yesterday in 2nd place (-4%) for a week’s take of $28.6M and a running total of $275.3M, pacing 6% behind the studio’s live-action Jungle Book at the same point in time, that pic ending its domestic run at $364M.


THURSDAY EXCLUSIVE: Disney continues to build movies this summer, and audiences continue to come. Industry sources –not Disney– inform us that Pixar’s Toy Story 4 is clocking around $12M tonight, which will make it the second best preview night for an animated pic after the record $18.5M notched by Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 last year.

Tonight’s estimated ticket sales for Toy Story 4 are 3x that of Toy Story 3‘s preview night ($4M) back on June 17, 2010 and that was off midnight showtimes.

Toy Story 4 kicked off at select 5PM fan events at 22 theaters tonight with the series’ four titles, followed by a 6PM nationwide break. Tomorrow, Toy Story 4 will play at 4,575 theaters, the second widest release ever after Avengers: Endgame which played at 4,662 theaters.

Will Toy Story 4 overindex up to a $200M opening weekend or stay around the $160M range? Will the lack of a Father’s Day Sunday slow it down? Both Incredibles 2 and 2016’s Finding Dory had the benefit of that holiday boost.

Last year, Incredible 2‘s Thursday night repped 26% of its all-time opening day animated pic record of $71.2M which continued on to become the best animation pic domestic opening of all-time with $182.6M. Prior to Incredibles 2, Pixar’s Finding Dory owned the best domestic debut for animated pic with $135M. That pic’s $9.2M Thursday represented 17% of its $54.7M opening day. If we split the difference of that Thursday night percent range then that means tonight will account for 21.5% of Toy Story 4‘s Friday total or $55.8M.

For many weeks, there’s been several signs pointing to Toy Story 4‘s great success: the Josh Cooley-directed fourthquel already owns a  98% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while the pic scored the best first day presales ever (May 28) for an animated movie on both Fandango and Atom Tickets, outselling Incredibles 2. Also, Toy Story 4 set a record on Atom for best pre-sales of all time for a Disney animated movie, outstripping Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Also, Toy Story 4 outsold the pre-sales of Disney’s live-action hit Aladdin.

We’ll have more updates for you tomorrow morning.

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Source – https://deadline.com/2019/06/toy-story-4-opening-weekend-box-office-childs-play-1202635964/