Disney’s Lightyear was expected to take off with a big opening weekend at the box office, but it’s had some trouble breaking orbit. Is it the stiff competition, or are people upset with the way Buzz’s character design came out? Maybe there’s no way to know exactly. That being said, the numbers don’t lie, and the film is definitely not living up to box office expectations.

The film was anticipated to make roughly $70 to 80 million dollars on its opening weekend, according to Variety. That should have been enough to unseat anything in its way for the number one spot. Instead it grossed just $51 million dollars, which is significantly lower than even the bottom of the anticipated range. The critical reception for the film has generally been positive, with critics praising the animation and the acting, while not being too impressed with the more or less conventional plot of the movie.

Here was the rest of the top five at the weekend box office:

  1. Jurassic World: Dominion - $58.6 million
  2. Lightyear - $51 million
  3. Top Gun: Maverick - $44 million
  4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness - $4.2 million
  5. The Bob’s Burgers Movie - $1.1 million

Lightyear follows the Buzz who supposedly inspired the Toy Story toy, as crash-lands on a hostile planet and battles the evil emperor Zurg. This kind of plotline had previously been explored back in the 2000 direct-to-video movie Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins. Shortly thereafter, Buzz would appear in a single season of an animated television by the name of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. 

This was the first Pixar movie to open in theaters after a string of titles like Soul and Turning Red that skipped multiplexes and went straight to Disney+. Another potential reason for the low box office numbers could be that the general public is still reluctant to return to theaters, but the numbers for other films aren't really showing that. Given the performance of the competition, it seems more likely that maybe it's best not to go head-to-head with a Top Gun film on Fathers' Day weekend.

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