Inside Out 2 movie

‘Inside Out 2’ Jolts Summer Box Office with Record-Breaking Opening

Disney’s latest animated feature, “Inside Out 2,” has injected new life into the sluggish summer box office, achieving a remarkable milestone by becoming the first film of 2024 to hit $100 million in domestic sales during its opening weekend.

According to Comscore estimates, “Inside Out 2” is on track for a $155 million weekend, making it the highest-grossing box office opening since last July’s “Barbie,” which amassed $162 million. The film has also secured the position of the second-highest domestic three-day opening for an animated film, trailing only behind 2018’s “Incredibles 2” by less than $30 million. Additionally, it surpassed “Dune: Part 2” to become the highest-grossing opening of 2024 to date.

“This performance came in well above our expectations,” said Daniel Loria, editorial director at Box Office Pro, which aggregates sales and showtime data from theatres across the United States. “We imagined it could … maybe match ‘Toy Story 4’s’ $120 million opening weekend, but this result is absolutely extraordinary.”

Industry analysts concur that this weekend marked a pivotal moment for Disney and the broader domestic box office, which had experienced a tepid start to the summer following a notably low turnout over Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff for the season.

Shawn Robbins, founder and owner of Box Office Theory, described the opening weekend as a “well-earned victory lap for Disney, Pixar, and movie theatres.”

“Disney is still in the early phases of its refocused theatrical prioritization,” Robbins noted. “Time will tell what original IP can accomplish in the future and how consistently they can generate these types of performances again, but this is a major rebound for the parent company and for Pixar after a string of underperformers on both sides.”

The summer box office had faced numerous challenges, including production delays from last year’s Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Moreover, Disney’s recent Marvel releases have underwhelmed, with “The Marvels” opening to just $47 million last November. However, the upcoming release of “Deadpool & Wolverine,” set for July 26, is anticipated to revive audience interest in the Marvel franchise.

“The story of the summer was always going to come down to how Pixar (‘Inside Out 2’) and Marvel (‘Deadpool & Wolverine’) rebounded,” added Loria.

Despite domestic box office totals being down about 28% compared to the same period last year, senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian emphasized that “Inside Out 2” represents a significant turning point for theatres. He noted that it often takes just “one or two overperforming films to change the entire narrative.”

“This is the best possible news for Pixar, movie theatres, and indeed rival studios whose own upcoming summer films (including the family-friendly ‘Despicable Me 4’) will benefit from the heightened interest and increased foot traffic at the multiplex,” Dergarabedian remarked.

As “Inside Out 2” continues to draw audiences, it is expected to bolster the summer box office and set the stage for a strong performance by upcoming releases.

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