Box Office: ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Roars Ahead of ‘Lightyear’ in Surprise Upset

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In a surprise twist, Pixar and Disney’s new movie Lightyear lost Father’s Day weekend to holdover Jurassic World Dominion at the domestic box office.

This is the first time in the pandemic that there’s been three major Hollywood tentpoles doing solid-to-great business (Top Gun: Maverick is the third). As a result, overall domestic revenue hit an estimated $166 million, which is down only 18 percent from 2019 (usually, that gap has been much bigger). However, it isn’t clear whether the box office chart has recovered enough to support so much product.

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Lightyear was expected to top the chart with a $70 million to $85 million opening. Instead, the Toy Story spinoff buzzed to a disappointing $51 million from 4,255 theaters. While that’s a solid number for the COVID-19 era — as well as the biggest opening of the pandemic for an animated family film — Lightyear’s start is nevertheless a disappointment considering it carries the storied Pixar logo.

Overseas, Lightyear took in $34.6 million from its first 43 markets for a global launch of $85.6 million.

The movie isn’t expected to be released in China, and was banned in parts of the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, over a same-gender kiss. The scene, involving the female character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her partner, was originally cut from the film but reinstated following the uproar surrounding a statement from Pixar employees claiming that Disney had been censoring “overtly gay affection” and Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s handling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Chris Evans voices the iconic Space Ranger in the origin tale, a role previously voiced by Tim Allen. Lightyear marks Pixar’s return to the big screen after seeing several of its animated family films head straight for Disney+ due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lightyear serves as a test for the strength of the family market as the box office continues to recover.

The animated film currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 78 percent, which is definitely on the lower end for a Pixar offering, particularly for the Toy Story franchise. Audiences, however, gave it an A- CinemaScore.

Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion stayed at No. 1 with $58.7 million from 4,679 locations for a 10-day domestic tally of $247.8 million and $622.2 million globally (it’s only the seventh Hollywood title to cross $600 million in the pandemic era). Internationally, it earned another $76.1 million from 72 markets for a foreign tally of $372.4 million. China’s total is now $92.8 million, making the movie one of the top-grossing Hollywood releases of the pandemic.

One sobering note: Dominion tumbled 60 percent domestically, a bigger fall than the last two dino films.

Monday is a federal holiday honoring Juneteenth, so Monday could look more like a Saturday and Sunday in terms of traffic at the box office. Universal insiders believe Jurassic World 3′s domestic total could climb as high as $68 million for the four days.

Lightyear should also see a boost on Monday.

Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick remained a formidable force in its fourth weekend. The water-cooler sensation dropped a mere 15 percent to $44 million for a domestic total of $466.2 million as it flies toward the $500 million mark. Overseas, it earned $39.7 million from 64 markets for a global cume of nearly $900 million, or $885.2 million.

Marvel and Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness came in at No. 4 with $4.2 million for a domestic total of $405.1 million and $942.5 million worldwide. It now ranks No. 10 on the list of top-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe titles.

Disney and 20th Century’s The Bob’s Burgers Movie rounded out the top five with  $1.1 million for a domestic total of $29.8 million.

At the specialty box office, British comedy Brian and Charles opened to $830,000 from 279 theaters for a tepid per-location average of $711 despite winning the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Focus Features acquired the film out of Sundance for a reasonable price, according to insiders.

June 19, 8:35 a.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.

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