Perhaps calling critics of a movie “idiots who are going to die off like the dinosaurs” wasn’t the best strategy to get families to watch the latest entry in the Toy Story franchise.
Disney’s latest film Lightyear made its way to theaters this weekend, and the result can only be described as disappointing. The spinoff film from Pixar’s Toy Story universe fell short of insider projections in its box office debut, collecting a lackluster $51 million at the domestic box office from 4,255 North American theaters, and only $84 million from the worldwide box office.
The film failed to dethrone Jurassic World: Dominion, which brought in $58.6 million in its second weekend at the box office. Earlier this week, some insiders expected the Disney film to generate at least $80 million domestically. But, after a disappointing Thursday preview night, those projections plummeted to 60 million, and by Saturday, it settled in at $51 million from North America.
The result is considered a major drop-off from Toy Story 4, which did $120 million dollars in its opening weekend in the US back in 2019. That film went on to gross over $1 billion worldwide.
Both Toy Story 4 and Lightyear have identical production budgets of $200 million dollars. Toy Story 4’s break-even mark was estimated at $700 million dollars after production budgets, marketing and talent participation. If Lightyear’s break-even is around $500-600 million, then the film could end up being a major money pit for Disney & Pixar. A multitude of self-inflicted errors did not sell Lightyear to the masses.
First, Disney replaced iconic actor Tim Allen as the legendary voice of Buzz Lightyear in what many feel was a political decision, given Allen is a well-known Hollywood Conservative. Disney then replaced Allen with actor Chris Evans, who is well known for voicing his opinions on social media against Conservatives.
Next, Disney focused all of the marketing of the film on the fact that they had a same-sex kiss scene in a children’s movie. The scene was originally cut out of the movie, but was restored when radical Left employees at Disney pressured the company to take a stance on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which bans the teaching of sexuality and transgenderism to children between kindergarten and third grade.
The movie was then banned in China, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In response, Chris Evans called anyone who has a problem with the same-sex kiss is an “idiot” who will “die off like the dinosaurs” indirectly slamming every Muslim in the middle east.
“The real truth is those people are idiots. There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs.” Evans said in an interview with Reuters.
“I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.” he added. Evans continued his frustration with those upset about the scene, citing that it bothers him that same-sex relationships are still a problem in the first place.
“It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion. The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is, that representation across the board is how we make films.”
In the face of rising inflation driving up the cost of average goods and record gas prices, publicly slamming a potential viewing audience and their families before the release of the film could not have been a smart strategy for Disney.
With the projections of Lightyear dropping every single day, the film has a long way to go before making any real money at the box office, and with the massive budget behind the film, it may end up worsening a precipitous decline in Disney’s profitability, not to mention its already-soiled reputation.