‘Toy Story 4’ expected to revive weekend box office after series of flops
After a string of unexpected box-office flops, media investors are hoping for a turnaround this weekend with the release of Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” which is expected to become one of the biggest hits of the summer.
MKM analyst Eric Handler is expecting the fourth installment in the animated film franchise to gross $ 170 million, buoyed by stellar reviews that include a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes. That would top the $ 110 million opening enjoyed by “Toy Story 3” in June of 2010, he wrote in a Friday note to clients.
“’Toy Story 4’ should have no problem dominating the box office over the weekend,” Handler wrote, citing its high consumer awareness and beloved characters.
At Box Office Mojo, the film is expected to gross at least $ 165 million from its release at 4,575 theaters across the U.S., which is the second-biggest number of screens after “Avengers: Endgame.”
Fandango.com has reported record-breaking pre-sale figures, saying the film has outperformed last year’s “Incredibles 2,” which delivered a $ 182.6 million opening weekend. Pixar parent Walt Disney Co. DIS, -0.60% has said it expects at least $ 140 million.
“Child’s Play,” an update of the “Chucky” horror series from the 1980s made by MGM Holdings Inc.’s Orion Pictures, is expected to take second place with expected box-office proceeds of $ 17 million, according to Box Office Mojo. The film, which stars “Parks and Recreation’s” Aubrey Plaza, has a 66% Rotten Tomatoes score and will open at 3,007 theaters across the country.
“The Secret Life of Pets 2” is expected to take third place with box office gross of $ 12.3 million, followed by “Men in Black International” with an expected $ 12.0 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
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The latest version of “Men in Black” had a disappointing opening weekend with the Sony Corp. SNE, -0.98% backed reboot taking in just $ 28.5 million, compared with its reported production budget of $ 110 million, as the Associated Press reported. The film, which stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, has a 23% Rotten Tomatoes score.
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“Shaft,” the latest chapter in the franchise starring Samuel L. Jackson made by AT&T’s T, -0.18% Warner Bros., also flopped last weekend, taking in just $ 8.3 million. That film was made for about $ 30 million.
Even Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN, -0.11% comedy “Late Night” starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling failed to make a splash, taking in just $ 5.1 million. Amazon acquired that film at Sundance for a record $ 13 million.
MKM’s Handler is expecting the top 10 films to gross $ 246 million this weekend, short of last year’s weekend total of $ 269 million, which came on the back of a $ 148 million opening for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment-backed “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and a second weekend gross of $ 80 million for “Incredibles 2.”
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“From a big-picture perspective, a flat weekend would make us feel more comfortable with our +3% box office outlook for 2Q,” Handler wrote. “Getting to flat for the weekend would likely require Toy Story 4 to surpass $ 190 million.”
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Disney shares have gained 29% in 2019 to date, while Sony has gained 10% and AT&T has added 14%. Amazon has gained 27%.
The S&P 500 SPX, -0.02% has gained 18% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.22% has climbed 15%.
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