“Lightyear” did not justify the box office in the first weekend and earned less than “Dominion of Jurassic World”. Acting as the origin story of Tim Allen Buzz Lightyear’s toy in Toy Story, Lightyear sees Chris Evans voicing the main role this time, and the film tells about the character’s attempts to return home after he found himself on an alien planet. The film, directed by Angus MacLaine, received somewhat mixed reviews, at least by Pixar standards: critics praised the animation and voice acting, but criticized the relatively simplified plot of the film.
Lightyear opened in theaters on June 17, a week after the release of Jurassic World Dominion by Colin Trevorrow. Billed as the “End of the Jurassic Era” for the franchise, Jurassic World Dominion begins after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, depicting a world in which humans coexist with dinosaurs. The film received mostly negative reviews from critics, with criticism of the film’s script and the wasted potential of its premise. In addition to the characters of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World Dominion brings back old characters from Jurassic Park, played by Sam Neal, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum.
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According to a new Deadline report, Lightyear failed to beat Jurassic World Dominion at the box office, even though the latest film is in its second weekend. Lightyear was expected to earn over $70 million in its first weekend, but instead earned just $51 million, while Jurassic World Dominion earned $58 million. The reason for Lightyear’s disappointing opening weekend box office is still unclear, but the report does suggest that Jurassic World Dominion’s greater availability in large format (IMAX) was at least a partial factor.
Given the continued popularity of Toy Story and its presence in popular culture, it becomes clear that Disney/Pixar expected Lightyear to perform much better than it actually did. The film earned an A-CinemaScore, which is an impressive achievement, but it is in line with Jurassic World Dominion’s assessment, despite the very poor evaluation of the latter by critics. It’s possible that Lightyear’s failure is at least partly due to less-than-stellar word of mouth, which was considered 14% less positive than Toy Story 4. Lightyear is expected to take over all IMAX screens next weekend. domestically, which will potentially lead to a less serious drop in box office receipts in the second weekend.
It’s not entirely clear why “Lightyear” didn’t live up to the box office, but perhaps Disney overestimated the general public’s interest in the Toy Story spin-off. In the weeks leading up to its release, there also seemed to be some confusion about how the film actually relates to Toy Story and why Buzz Lightyear’s character is not voiced by Tim Allen, which perhaps hints at why some viewers chose Jurassic World. Instead, “Dominion” is a film that advertised itself very clearly around the return of the actors of the original Jurassic Park. While Lightyear will probably still perform adequately by Pixar standards, the film obviously hasn’t gone “to infinity and beyond” as many expected.