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‘Toy Story 4’ Opens Below Box Office Expectations, Yet Still Soars

Woody and Bo Peep won’t match ”Incredibles 2,“ but will still double the opening of any other 2019 animated film

This weekend’s box office is all about Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” which opened on 4,575 screens to $47 million on Friday and is now expected to earn an opening weekend of $120-125 million, according to industry estimates.

While that’s below the $140 million projected by Disney before the weekend and well behind the animation record of $182 million set by “Incredibles 2” last year, it would be the third highest opening weekend of 2019 so far. It will also stand as either the third or fourth largest opening ever for an animated feature, depending on whether it takes the No. 3 spot from “Shrek the Third,” which opened to $121 million in 2007.

The final opening weekend figure could be a few notches higher than current estimates, as Saturday and Sunday matinees could perform above expectations thanks to the film’s sterling word of mouth. “Toy Story 4” has received near-unanimous praise from critics and audiences with a 98% Rotten Tomatoes score and an A on CinemaScore, matching the reception received in 2010 by “Toy Story 3,” which opened to $110 million.

With “Toy Story 4” estimated to account for 60% of all box office business this weekend, Orion/United Artists’ “Child’s Play” sits in a very distant second, grossing $6 million on Friday from 3,007 screens. It is currently estimated to open on the lower end of studio projections with $15-16 million.

The marketing for this horror reboot embraced its status as counter-programming to “Toy Story,” with spoof posters showing the killer doll Chucky killing off Woody and several of his fellow toys. The film is the first in the series done without creator Don Mancini or original Chucky voice actor Brad Dourif, but has received the highest Rotten Tomatoes score of any theatrically released installments since the 1988 original with 60% from critics. Audiences, however, weren’t impressed and gave it a C+.

In third is Disney’s “Aladdin” with $14 million in its fifth weekend, giving it a domestic total of $289 million. Completing the top five are Universal/Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2” and Sony’s “Men in Black: International,” both of which are currently estimated to earn $10.5 million this weekend. For “Pets 2,” the domestic total stands at $117 million after three weekends, while “MIB: International” is falling 65% from its franchise-low $30 million weekend.