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How ‘Inside Out 2’ Became a Must-See Movie and Even Upstaged Barbie

How ‘Inside Out 2’ Became a Must-See Movie and Even Upstaged Barbie

For years, Pixar’s films have appealed to families and general audiences alike, a potent combination in terms of box office potential. With Inside Out 2, that duality hit the next-level, which helps explain why the PG-rated sequel enjoyed one of the biggest second weekends of all time, taking its place alongside a squadron of fanboy-fueled tentpoles.

The Pixar/Disney release cleared a staggering $100 million in North America over the June 21-23 weekend in a first for an animated or PG-rated film after passing up Illumination and Universal’s 2023 entry The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($92 million). It is only the seventh film ever to cross $100 million in its second outing. And, yes, it even beat Barbie‘s second weekend haul of $93 million.

Speaking of Barbie, many are saying Inside Out 2 is the first must-see movie since that film debuted almost a year ago. And like the Barbehnheimer phenomenon, the combination of Inside Out 2 and Bad Boys: Ride or Die has ignited moviegoing across the board. Year-to-date revenue had tumbled 25 percent behind last year; now the gap is closing, though it is still down 21 percent to 22 percent.

Inside Out 2‘s official second-weekend tally came in at $101.2 million for a staggering 10-day domestic total of $356.4 million, according to Comscore. Overseas, it has earned an equally dazzling $369.2 million for a global haul of $725.6 million to rank as the top film of the year so far ahead of Dune: Part Two ($711 million).

And, among other records, it boasts the smallest second weekend decline ever for a film opening to $150 million, with a dip of 36 percent. 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the previous record-holder at 40 percent.

Inside Out 2 is spreading plenty of joys overseas, where it is shattering records for an animated movie across Latin America, Europe and Asia. In numerous markets, it scored the industry’s second-highest opening ever, including in Brazil this past weekend with $17.3 million and Italy with $16.2 million. Mexico, where the movie opened at the same time as in the U.S., leads all overseas markets with $63.9 million, one of the 10 territories where it is already among the biggest films of all time.

Inside Out 2 is virtually assured of becoming the year’s first $1 billion earner at the global box office, and has the advantage of playing to both kids and adults. Young adults, and particularly younger females, between the ages 18 and 24, are showing up in droves to watch the sequel, whether because of nostalgia or the fear of missing out. According to general audience exit polls conducted by PostTrak over the June 22-24 weekend, nearly 40 percent of ticket buyers were between the ages of 18 and 24, while another 19 percent were between the ages 25 and 34. Teenagers, or those between ages 13 and 17, represented 23 percent of the audience.

And don’t forget the power of the family audience, and the PG rating (many parents may not want younger kids to see a summer tenptole rated PG-13). Also, Inside Out 2 continues to play to a notably diverse audience in regards to ethnicity.

“The timelessness of Inside Out 2 is reflected in the demographic diversity of the film, attracting audiences of all ages who can relate to so many aspects,” says Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

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All of this helps explain why a movie that some may label a “cartoon” played at the level of a superhero or Star Wars pic in its second weekend. Below is the newly updated list of the seven films that have earned $100 million or more in their sophomore outings at the North American box office, not adjusted for inflation.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($149 million)
Avengers: Endgame ($147 million)
Avengers: Infinity War ($114 million)
Black Panther ($111 million)
Jurassic World ($106 million)
The Avengers ($103 million)
Inside Out 2 ($101 million)

Source: Comscore.

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