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Inside Out 2 Heads for Historic $140M-$150M Box Office Opening

Inside Out 2 Heads for Historic $140M-$150M Box Office Opening

Where to begin in describing the emotions Hollywood and theater owners are feeling over the stunning start of Inside Out 2 at the box office, not to mention Pixar and its parent company Disney. (Hint: sadness isn’t one of them.)

The family tentpole earned a massive $62 million on Friday, well ahead of expectations and putting the movie on course to open in the $140 million to $150 million range domestically over Father’s Day weekend, one of the top three starts ever for an animated film and a near-record for the storied Pixar. Rival studios believe it could climb as high as $155 million to $160 million but Disney is being more circumspect. Friday’s haul includes a huge $13 million in Thursday previews.

The news is just as good overseas, where the movie is doing equally as big numbers.

Heading into the weekend, the $200 million sequel was tracking for a North American debut in the $90 million range, in line with the first film, which went on to earn nearly $860 million globally. Instead, Inside Out 2 will be the first movie since Barbie almost a year ago to cross $100 million in its launch, a symbol of just how beleaguered the box office has been so far in 2024 due to strike-related delays and a precipitous downturn in moviegong. (Barbie opened to $162 million domestically).

And thanks to Inside Out 2 and Sony’s Bad Boys: Ride or Die, which is now in its second frame, overall domestic box office revenue will be up over last year for the first time this year. This weekend looks to come in 28 percent of the same frame last year, when DC’s The Flash and Pixar’s Elemental opened to disappointing numbers (The Flash quickly fizzled, while Elemental was eventually able to find its stride).

Bad Boys 4, reteaming Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, looks to fall a scant 44 percent in its second weekend to $31.5 million as it clears the $100 million mark domestically.

Fellow Pixar release Incredibles 2 is the crown-holder for top animated opening ($182.7 million), followed by Illumination and Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($146.4 million), Pixar’s Finding Dory ($135.1 million) and Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen II ($130.3 million).

Inside Out 2 is just what the doctor ordered for Pixar, which has endured several years of strife, including when the former Disney regime decided to send a trio of Pixar films straight to streaming.

The movie is earning glowing reviews, and is presently among the five best-rated Pixar films on Rotten Tomatoes with a critics’ score of 93 percent. It earned an A CinenamScore, while the Rotten Tomatoes Score of 96 percent is a best-ever for Pixar.

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Directed by Kelsey Mann, the sequel introduces a whole new cast of emotions who are brought into “head”-quarters when the story’s young heroine, Riley, becomes a teenager.

Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust aren’t so sure how to feel about the arrival of Anxiety, Envy, Ennui and Embarrassment. Amy Poehler leads a voice cast that also includes Maya Hawke, Kensington Tallman, Liza Lapira, Tony Hale, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Ayo Edebiri, Lilimar, Grace Lu, Sumayyah Nuriddin-Green, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Paul Walter Hauser and Yvette Nicole Brown.

Inside Out 2 started off its box office run with a joyful $13 million in Thursday evening previews, well ahead of expectations. And traffic was so strong throughout Friday it became clear that the film would open to at least $130 million to $140 million domestically. By late evening, rival studios were throwing out estimates of $140 million to $150 million, but Disney and Pixar continues to take a more circumspect approach.

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