Entertainment

Lightyear Fails To Ignite With Audiences, Jurassic World Rules Dominion


Not quite to infinity, and certainly not beyond.

Lightyear, an expansion of Pixar’s Toy Story universe, failed reach escape velocity as it launched this weekend. No, it did not exactly do poorly—don’t worry about contributing to The Walt Disney Company’s GoFundMe just yet—but in the battle of box office nostalgia, it was Universal and Jurassic World that came out on top.

Jurassic World Dominion, the Chris Pratt-led third part of the Jurassic World trilogy (or sixth part of the Jurassic Park hexology, if you like) surprised prognosticators by holding strong in its second week. The mixture of computer-generated dinosaurs, the reunited team of Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum, plus a title daring to reject a colon where a colon should be was seemingly too much for moviegoers to ignore. 

The Hollywood Reporter wrote on Sunday night that the dino pic’s second weekend, which included Father’s Day, munched up $58.7 million domestically. Lightyear grossed only $51 million in its initial weekend. The trade outlet wrote that the animated feature was expected to earn between $70 and $85 million.

This brings Jurassic World Dominion’s total to nearly $250,000 million domestically, and $623 million worldwide. Lightyear’s worldwide take currently lists at a mere $85.6 million.

THR reported that Jurassic World earned $96 million in the increasingly mercurial Chinese market, making it “one of the top-grossing Hollywood releases of the pandemic.” China, which has recently rejected big winners like Top Gun: Maverick and Spider-Man: No Way Home (and whose own domestic movie productions have conquered the global box office since COVID-19 upended things) has yet to grant an entry to Lightyear, and will likely ban it, as have several Middle Eastern nations. At issue is a brief same-sex kiss, which Disney refuses to censor. (The studio similarly held their ground with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.)  

Lightyear is not a sequel or even prequel to the Toy Story films (of which there were four) but a high-concept play. The movie is supposed to be the mid-1990s “content” from which the toy, later voiced by Tim Allen, originated. Got that? Chris Evans voices this version of Buzz Lightyear, but that means that Chris Evans is also supposed to be an action-adventure actor in the mid-1990s. Whoa. I think my brain just went to infinity and beyond!

Lightyear has a respectable 76 percent on critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and an almost-respectable score of 60 on Metacritic. Jurassic World Dominion, however, has a lousy 30 percent on R.T. and 38 on Metacritic. V.F.‘s critic was pretty unimpressed with both. But Cinemascore, which polls exiting ticket buyers, gave both movies an A-. Show business!



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