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411 Box Office Report: Toy Story 4 Dominates For #1, Child’s Play Notches Solid Start

June 23, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Toy Story 4

Pixar made its return to the top of the box office this weekend as Toy Story 4 blasted off to a #1 start. The fourth film in the venerable franchise brought in $118 million for an easy win. It’s the best start for a Toy Story film to date, edging out Toy Story 3’s $110.3 million opening in 2010. However, it’s also well below the $145 million to $155 million that a lot of people were projecting for the film.

This isn’t a “what went wrong” situation, to be clear. No one’s going to be feeling bad for Disney and Pixar here, and the studio will make a lot of money on the movie. Still, some will wonder why the movie didn’t open at the expected amount, and part of that relates to the fact that expectations were just overly high. Pixar’s last film, Incredibles 2, had a massive $182.7 million start last year and given how beloved Toy Story is, people inflated their hopes here. But this franchise lacked that film’s superhero hook, as well as its long-awaited status.

All that said, the film is off to a great start and added $120 million overseas for a $238 million worldwide launch. Word of mouth has been great with an expected A CinemaScore, and critic reviews were ecstatic with a 98% Rotten Tomatoes consensus. These should help the film do well in terms of week-to-week drops. While it’s unlikely to hit the 3.76 multiple of the third Toy Story, a 3.5 seems eminently doable. That would put the film around $400 million, which would be huge of course. The budget was pricey at $200 million, but this will still be a big hit for the studio.

While Toy Story was always going to be a hit, there was more concern about the Child’s Play remake. United Artists is breathing a bit of a sigh of relief, as the movie opened to an expected $14 million. That’s a very good start for a $10 million-budgeted production. While the start is fairly low on the horror scale this year compared to films like Us ($71.1 million), Pet Sematary ($24.5 million) and The Curse of La Llorona ($26.3 million), it’s right around where it needed to start.

Child’s Play was a big question mark coming into the weekend, being a radical reboot of a beloved but cult horror franchise. The new film tosses aside the “doll possessed by an evil spirit” concept for one of an AI doll run amok, and those kinds of decisions can be very risky. Online reaction leading up to the release was decidedly mixed, but decent critical response (60% on RT) helped convince people to see it. The CinemaScore isn’t great for most films at a C+, but that’s right about on par for your average horror film.

How far will Child’s Play get? Right now, it wouldn’t be off-base to suggest a $40 million domestic final. It could easily drop lower if the film doesn’t pop word of mouth, especially with Annabelle Comes Home opening next weekend. But either way, it should be in fine shape against its light budget. The film has not yet opened overseas but that should mostly be icing on the cake for UA. Chalk this up as a minor win.

Aladdin is proving to be a behemoth, as it slipped just 30% in its fifth weekend to $12.2 million. The live-action Disney adaptation is now at $287.5 million and has designed on a $320 million total or more by the end of its domestic run. This is a worldwide monster as well with $810.1 million thus far, making it the fourth highest-grossing Disney live-action remake both in the US and around the world. On a $183 million budget, this is another huge win for Disney in what is a banner year for them.

Men in Black: International followed up its rough start with an unfortunate drop, down 64% to $10.8 million in its second weekend. The MiB revival has now grossed $52.7 million domestically and $182.1 million worldwide, making it less and less likely to eke its way to breaking even. The film is not maintaining the good holds of the previous entries, though $80 million still seems attainable. If that can happen and the overseas numbers hold, it may not be in too much trouble against its $110 million budget.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 was down 57% in its third weekend, not the best news for Universal, with $10.3 million. The animated sequel is now sitting at $117.6 million domestically and $194.7 million worldwide, which are fine but far from great considering the $80 million budget. The film should end up with around $140 million and will make a little money for its studios, though they would have certainly liked more.

Rocketman slipped 40% in its fourth weekend with $5.7 million. The Elton John musical biopic now has $77.3 million domestically and a stellar $153.4 million worldwide on a $40 million budget. The film should be able to end its run in the US at around $90 million, making it a profitable film for Paramount.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum eased to $4.1 million in weekend number six, off 36%. The action threequel now stands at $156.1 million domestically and $289.2 million worldwide, a big hit against a $55 million budget. The final domestic gross is on course for $170 million.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters continues to fall hard, down 58% in its fourth weekend to bring in $3.7 million. The kaiju action flick has tallied $102.3 million domestically and $349.9 million worldwide against a $170 million budget plus marketing. The film will finish at around $110 million total stateside and won’t be a disaster for its studio. It’s not a big hit, but it certainly could have been worse considering the perfomance of other films this summer.

Speaking of which: Dark Phoenix. The final Fox X-Men film is already down to #9 in just three weekends, off 62% for a mere $3.6 million. The critically-drubbed movie now has a meager $60.9 million domestically and $233 million worldwide against a $200 million budget. The film is still looking like a $100 million loss for the studio, with a domestic final around $70 million.

Shaft also fell heftily, down 60% in its second weekend with $3.6 million. The revival of the franchise is largely dead in the water, sitting at $15.9 million against a $35 million budget. This will be a money loser for Warner Bros. even with the international rights sold off already for $22 million. The final domestic take should be around $25 million at the best, not enough for a profit here.

Next weekend sees Annabelle Comes Home try to punch up the box office for horror hounds, targeting a mid-to-high $20 million start. Universal’s Beatles-themed dramedy Yesterday should approach $10 million as well.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Toy Story 4 – $118 million ($118 million total)
2. Child’s Play – $14 million ($14 million total)
3. Aladdin – $12.2 million ($287.5 million total)
4. Men in Black: International – $10.8 million ($52.7 million total)
5. Secret Life of Pets 2 – $10.3 million ($117.6 million total)
6. Rocketman – $5.7 million ($77.3 million total)
7. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – $4.1 million ($156.1 million total)
8. Godzilla: King of the Monsters – $3.7 million ($102.3 million total)
9. Dark Phoenix – $3.6 million ($60.2 million total)
10. Shaft – $3.6 million ($15.9 million total)