Movies & TV / Columns

Should Toy Story Have Stopped at Three?

June 24, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Toy Story 3 Toy Story 4

It’s tough to know when to stop. That’s true in a lot of things but it become complicated in Hollywood when a beloved franchise continues to bring in money.

Toy Story has been a critical and financial success from the start. Many felt the first 3 were a perfect trilogy, ending things on a satisfying note.

Then they announced the fourth and we all wondered just where they would go next.

Toy Story 4 came out on top of the North American box office over the weekend with $118 million. It opened solidly in a number of foreign markets as well with $120 million. A strong opening but didn’t quite hit expectations.

Tracking for Toy Story 4 put the opening in the $140 million-$165 million range in North America.

Good news is that animated movies have legs. “This movie has great word of mouth and will run long through the summer. I don’t deny that tracking had us at higher numbers, but this is a huge debut and shows how much people love these characters,” says Disney distribution chief Cathleen Taff.

Currently Toy Story 4 has a 98% percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an A CinemaScore from audiences. While audiences seem to love the new chapter, social media is telling a slightly different story as I’m seeing more people not connecting with this one like they did the others.

When Toy Story 3 ended, it closed the book with an emotional, weighty hook that had Andy moving on to his teenage years and his favorite toys like , Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear being handed down to a little girl who loves them just as much as Andy did. The trilogy took on a number of themes and it felt there was nothing more to say.

Without spoiling the fourth movie, the movie finds new ground to cover but the question of was this an easy cash grab still lingers. Especially because of how it ends. While no sequels are on the schedule, a Toy Story 5 seems like a real possibility.

For any Hollywood studio, making money is the end all, be all. The Toy Story franchise easily has plenty of gas left in the tank but does it need to be burned up on another couple of features? I’m all for continuing the series if the scripts are entertaining and it keeps the same quality as the ones that came before. As the box office number come in over the weeks, it will be easy to give another one the greenlight.

Have they gone too far? Do you want more? Should they go the Star Wars route and do a couple spin-offs to uneven reactions? Weigh-in below!