Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

box office predictions, lightyear, box office, summer  movie

It’s really great to see summer movies rebounding the way they have in the wake of the pandemic. The summer movie season was canceled in 2020 and it was easing back into things in 2021. Now, in 2022, we have seen significant hits from tentpole releases like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Top Gun: Maverick, and Jurassic World: Dominion. Top Gun: Maverick has already cleared $400 million domestically, Doctor Strange isn’t too far behind, and if Jurassic World: Dominion performs anything like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, that film may also join the $400 million club. This weekend the Toy Story spinoff/prequel Lightyear is set to blast off and all signs point to the Pixar release keeping the summer movie hits coming.

Lightyear is a bit of a big deal release for Pixar because it’s their first theatrical release in over two years after they sent Soul, Luca, and Turning Read to Disney+ due to the pandemic. As a business model, it makes sense that they would bank on Lightyear to be their return to the multiplex because the name is tied to a familiar IP. Lightyear is considered a spinoff to the Toy Story franchise with the character featured in this movie being the man that inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy we come to meet for the first time in the 1995 film. That familiarity should ensure some big box office but let’s look into why Lightyear is tracking below a $100 million opening.

The fact that the film is a spinoff/prequel of sorts and not a direct sequel is what has the film tracking in the $70 million range for its opening weekend. Before we get into this further, my prediction will be higher because Pixar tends to appeal to kids and adults alike. The audience should prove to be more spread out than tracking is indicating. Toy Story 4 opened to $120.9 million back in June 2019 and that goal, for me, is a bit too high. Word of mouth would need to be out of this world between Friday and Saturday and while I’m not saying it can’t happen, I think Lightyear will be more of a hit with legs rather than an explosion out of the gate. There is also a possibility that the film bests its tracking significantly. Jurassic World: Dominion’s tracking dipped to $125 million heading into the weekend but the film surged $20 million beyond that figure, and that was with dismal reviews from critics. Tracking has been harder to gauge because box office analysts are still figuring out which demos are all-in about heading to the movies with the pandemic still on their minds.

Lightyear is currently 81% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which is below the high 90%-100% scores usually seen by the Toy Story movies. The negative reviews don’t really come off all that scathing and even they still praise the film for its visual excellence. Family films can also withstand reviews that aren’t stellar across the board. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is 69% fresh and managed to open to $72 million. Lightyear is also sharing 400 IMAX screens in the U.S. with Jurassic World: Dominion, per Deadline, but it will get all of them next weekend so it will have time to make up some ground on that end. There is also the potential of a Father’s Day surge with dads and sons taking the day to see a movie and this one could be the top choice depending on the age range. There are a few factors at play that sees Lightyear topping tracking and that’s why I’m calling an $80 million opening for the weekend.

Jurassic World: Dominion may only spend one week at number one but it’s behaving so much like its predecessor that it’s still going to have a good weekend despite what will be a sizable drop. Fallen Kingdom opened to $148 million while Dominion opened to $145.1 million, which ended up pretty much dead on with my prediction last week. Fallen Kingdom dipped 58.8% in its second weekend and I really think this film is going to perform the same. They both received “A-” CinemaScores and some of the worst reviews of the franchise and, as of this writing, Dominion is only running 5% behind Fallen Kingdom. I’m predicting a $60 million weekend for Jurassic World: Dominion in week two.

Top Gun: Maverick will fall to third but it will still continue to bring in money this weekend because I think the hold is going to be especially good due to Father’s Day this Sunday. I can see this being a movie of choice for fathers and sons of a particular age if they choose to go to the movies. Top Gun: Maverick is officially the highest-grossing movie of the year domestically after soaring beyond $400 million on Monday and this weekend should provide another sizable bump for the lucrative sequel. I’m predicting $35 million for weekend four.

The fourth and fifth spots should be held by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and The Bad Guys. Doctor Strange will be crossing the $400 million mark this week which continues the series of hits for Marvel. I’m calling a weekend of about $3.9 million for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The Bad Guys is going to see its biggest competition to date with Lightyear and might see a bigger drop than it has seen in recent weeks. The Bad Guys is so close to legging it out to $100 million with a current running total of $92.1 million. I still think it’s a possibility but it’s going to be tapping right at the door of the century mark by the end of its run. I’m predicting about $2 million for the weekend.

What are YOUR box office predictions for the weekend?


  1. Lightyear$80 million
  2. Jurassic World: Dominion$60 million
  3. Top Gun: Maverick$35 million
  4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness$3.9 million
  5. The Bad Guys$2 million

By admin