Tavern Talk: Video Review - TOY STORY 4

As stated last week in this post, it was expected that after the general downturn in profit and excitement for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and MIB: International that Toy Story 4 would reverse the case of sequelitis that was plaguing the summer of 2019 and to some extent...that was true. The $200 million Disney/Pixar production debuted with $118 million over the weekend and marked the largest opening in the franchise's history, but also came in well below expectations as well as the openings of other recent Pixar sequels such as last year's Incredibles II ($183 million) and Finding Dory ($135 million) in 2016. Furthermore, Toy Story 4's opening would be less than Toy Story 3's $110 million opened weekend in 2019 adjusted for inflation. With the studio setting their expectations around the $140 million mark prior to the weekend, the pundits went even higher given the film was generating rave reviews, scoring a 98% on RottenTomatoes and an 83 on Metacritic, that were reported to be coupled with record-breaking pre-sale figures per Fandango.com which stated the film was outperforming the sales of Incredibles II. All that to say, an opening north of at least $160 million didn't seem out of the question. So what happened? Per Forbes' Scott Mendelson this seems to be due to the fact that, among other things, "this wasn't the long-awaited second installment of Brad Bird's Incredibles series, nor was it the somewhat surprising first/only sequel to Andrew Stanton's Finding Nemo. This was the fourth Toy Story movie, one existing after the rather perfect series finale that was the final scene of Toy Story 3." And this makes sense, this has been a series going on for some twenty-four years now and while all three of the previous Toy Story films undoubtedly get repeat plays in the average home with children the age of their target audience-those children also have more Pixar options now and more specifically, Pixar options that are exclusively "theirs". All of this taken into consideration, the film is still the fourth-biggest animated launch of all-time and adheres to Pixar's general rule of quality that it will likely equate to strong legs over the next month until The Lion King opens. In other new release news, the Child's Play re-make came in second with an estimated $14 million on a reported budget of around $10 million which is good news considering the film received a "C+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences suggesting this thing will fall like your typical horror flick over the next few weeks. The only other major release of the week was Luc Besson's Anna which opened outside the top ten as the Lionsgate release of the Summit action/thriller debuted to $3.5 million on a reported budget of $30 million. On the plus side, the film did receive a "B+" CinemaScore, so maybe there is a shot at life in a post-theatrical run? What did you see this weekend? Let us know in the comments and as always, be sure to follow the official Tavern Talk by initial reaction YouTube channel as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where you can find a new review (or reviews) each week!



Read my full Toy Story 4 review here.


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