Can ‘Lightyear’ Lift Family-Film Box Office With a $80 Million-Plus Debut?

Pixar’s ”Toy Story“ spinoff is the first of four major studio animated films coming out through the end of July

When Disney released Pixar’s “Turning Red” exclusively on streaming, there were a lot of question marks over how well family films would perform at the box office. Three months later, Pixar is returning to the big screen with “Lightyear” as the film industry has much greater confidence in parents and kids turning out in theaters.

Pixar’s “Toy Story” spinoff is expected to at least top the $72 million opening of “Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” earlier this year, with most projections settling in the $80 million range. If it hits that range, it would be in the vicinity of the $82 million opening of “Monsters University” in 2013. An opening above $90 million would top the launch of 2015 Oscar winner “Inside Out” and rank among Pixar’s top five highest openings ever.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster