Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion” has scored a box office upset this weekend, earning $58.6 million to pass $250 million domestic and $600 million worldwide while taking the top spot on the charts from Disney/Pixar’s underperforming “Lightyear.”
“Dominion” became the eighth Hollywood film of the COVID era to pass $500 million worldwide on Friday and is well on pace alongside Paramount/Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick” to reach the $1 billion mark. The $58 million second weekend domestic total is a touch below the $60 million earned by “Jurassic World; Fallen Kingdom” in 2018, but with Monday being a federal holiday in observance of Juneteenth, Universal is estimating a $9.4 million Monday total to give the film a $68 million 4-day weekend.
“Lightyear,” meanwhile, is opening well short of box office projections, which had pegged the film to top the $72 million opening of “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” to score the best family film opening of the year. Instead, the film is opening below “Dominion” with just $51 million domestic and $85.6 milliion worldwide.
While that is enough to put “Lightyear” above “The Bad Guys” and “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” and give it the highest animated opening of 2022, the “Toy Story” spinoff is failing to top even the $53 million opening of “Cars 3” in 2017. To find a lower opening for a summer Pixar release, one must go back to June 2007 with the $47 million launch of “Ratatouille.”
This sluggish start comes in spite of the fact that “Lightyear” has earned slightly stronger reception than “Jurassic World: Dominion,” with an A- on CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 77% critics and 86% audience. On Comscore/Screen Engine’s Postrak, “Lightyear” got an 85% positive rating compared to 73% for “Dominion.”
“Lightyear” will have little time to take that strong word-of-mouth and salvage it into box office legs, as Universal will be releasing its summer animated film “Minions: The Rise of Gru” on July 1. As it stands, “Lightyear” is roughly on the same domestic box office course as “Cars 3,” which failed to top $400 million worldwide with a $383 million run.
A similar run would put “Lightyear” below the $398 million global total for “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” despite having double the budget with $200 million. “Cars 3” was also a theatrical dud but became immensely profitable for Disney thanks to the surge of sales in “Cars” toys and merchandise. It’s hard to see “Lightyear” having similar post-theatrical success barring an unexpected surge in Disney+ streaming subscriptions.
But amid the surprise results at the top of the charts, “Top Gun: Maverick” is continuing to find unprecedented summer success even in its fourth weekend. After making $50 million last weekend, Tom Cruise’s record breaking hit only dropped a stunning 15% to $44 million, scoring the second-highest total ever for a film in its fourth weekend. Only “Avatar” has posted a better fourth frame with $50 million in early January 2010.
“Top Gun: Maverick” is now guaranteed to become Cruise’s first $1 billion hit and the first for Paramount in 11 years. “Maverick” will also join “The Dark Knight” as only the second $1 billion grosser to hit the mark from a summer release date and with less than half of global grosses coming from overseas.
Disney holdovers complete the Top 5 as Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” added $4.2 million in its seventh weekend, passing $400 million domestic and taking its global total to $942.5 million. 20th Century’s “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” is fifth with $1.1 million and a domestic total of just under $30 million.