The expectations were high when an origin story was announced for one of Pixar’s most beloved characters; Buzz Lightyear, but it appears that the movie is falling short. In its first weekend in theatres, the movie has managed to rake in $51 million which is much lower than expected, and also fails to conquer the competition, Jurassic World: Dominion which kicked off with $58 million.
Lightyear is Pixar’s first major theatrical release since 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic ended up halting all cinema activity. The film has been marketed significantly for almost a year prior to the release and features a beloved Pixar character voiced by one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, Captain America himself, Chris Evans. Hence, the numbers not being up to the mark is baffling.
The global earnings of the film for the first weekend are coming up to about $85.6 million, which is again falling short of projections. However, this can be attributed to the fact that screenings of the film were banned in multiple Asian and Middle Eastern countries owing to the LGBTQ representation in the movie. The film features a scene where one LGBTQ character kisses her wife.
Critics have mostly been full of praise for the animated movie. The film has so far received a 77% score on Rotten Tomatoes and Audiences gave the film a decent A- cinema score, which begs the question as to what has gone wrong.
However, with only its first weekend gone, it is still too early to argue why Lightyear hasn’t gone “To Infinity and Beyond.”
There is some speculation that an animated movie is a hard sell right now because since the COVID-19 pandemic family audiences have been the most reluctant to return to cinemas. All the Pixar movies that have been released since the beginning of the pandemic including “Soul,” “Luca,” and “Turning Red” have mostly been Hybrid releases; they were released in cinemas and sent to the Disney+ streaming service at the same time. Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “Encanto” were also released in cinemas and on the streaming service at the same time.
It remains to be seen whether Lightyear will blast off in the coming weeks.