Why Pixar’s ‘Luca’ Skipping Theaters Is a Double Blow to the Box Office

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Some animated films have performed decently in theaters this year, but a Pixar film could have provided a lot of info to studios on family interest in moviegoing

LUCA Enrico Casarosa

While Disney hasn’t completely abandoned the summer box office, it did eliminate a major element of its traditional release strategy by moving Pixar’s “Luca” from theaters to Disney+. Not only did Disney lose box office revenues from the industry’s most reliable animated hit-maker, but it also deprived studios of a good test for U.S. families’ willingness to return to movie theaters in the midst of an ever-wider post-pandemic reopening.

So far, there have been a handful of family films that have performed decently given the restrictions of the pandemic recovery period. Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods: A New Age” legged out for months while infections skyrocketed during the winter, grossing $58 million domestically and $170 million worldwide.


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