Industry observers are predicting a record-breaking weekend for Cowboy Woody and the gang since the Thursday night previews of Pixar’s Toy Story 4 made an impressive $12 million at the box office. Deadline.com expects the fourth outing for the franchise to do score over $55 million on Friday and anywhere between $150 million to $160 million this weekend. The Thursday night preview numbers were the second best for an animated movie, the first spot belonging to Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 at $18.5 million in 2018.
The record for best animated opening weekend also belongs to Incredibles 2 with $182.6 million, followed by Finding Dory with $135 million. Toy Story 4 has been getting fantastic reviews, currently boasting a 98% Certified Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and had the best first day presales ever for an animated movie on Fandango and Atom Tickets.
Meanwhile, in China, Toy Story 4 faces a very tough competitor this weekend—a re-release of Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved 2001 classic Spirited Away. None of Miyazaki’s beloved films were distributed in China during the time of their original release. Last December, however, Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro(1993) made its theatrical debut through China Film Group and brought in a healthy $25.8 million. Toy Story 4 will have an uphill battle since none of the previous Toy Story titles were released in China and audiences aren’t familiar with the characters.
Sources: Deadline.com, Hollywood Reporter