“Toy Story 4,” Disney-Pixar’s highly anticipated sequel in the animated “Toy Story” franchise and the first entry in nine years, earned $12 million at the Thursday box office making it the second highest preview total for an animated film ever.
“Toy Story 4” fell short of the animation preview record set by the previous Pixar installment, last year’s “Incredibles 2.” That film earned a massive $18.2 million in Thursday previews when the previous record holder was Pixar’s “Finding Dory” at just $9.2 million.
“Incredibles 2” went on to make a truly incredible $182.6 million, placing it on the list of the Top 10 opening weekends of all time and the highest of any animated film, and it also became the fastest animated film to top $1 billion globally, doing so in just 47 days.
Disney is projecting “Toy Story 4” to earn north of $140 million in its opening weekend, but independent trackers say it could challenge the $182.6 million mark set by “Incredibles 2.” And with a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes and strong early reactions from fans, it could be poised to do so.
“Toy Story 4” is directed by Josh Cooley, and the film reunites the toy box of Woody, Buzz, Jessie and more, this time with Annie Potts as Bo Peep returning to the franchise, as well as new additions from voice actors Tony Hale, Keanu Reeves, Jordan Peele, Keegan Michael-Key and Christina Hendricks.
Woody (Tom Hanks) finds himself trying to protect a new toy named Forky (Hale), a disposable, plastic spork who has become a sentient toy after his owner Bonnie built him out of discarded parts. When Forky goes missing on a family road trip, Woody ventures through a carnival and antique store in order to rescue him.
Also opening this weekend is another film about a toy come to life, this one not so friendly. “Child’s Play,” the horror remake of the ’80s cult film about the murderous toy doll Chucky, made $1.65 million in its Thursday previews on an estimated 2,500 screens. It opens on 3,007 screens this weekend.
United Artists Releasing and MGM are projecting the film for an opening between $16-18 million. For comparison, Universal’s recent film “Ma” starring Octavia Spencer earned $1.4 million in Thursday previews and made $18 million in its opening weekend.
Lars Klevberg directs the horror reboot based on the series from creator Don Mancini, who is not involved in the latest version. Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman and Brian Tyree Henry star in the film, and Mark Hamill provides the voice of Chucky.
Finally, “Anna,” from writer and director Luc Besson and released by Summit Entertainment, earned $325,000 in Thursday previews from approximately 1,700 North American screens. It opens wide at 2,114 locations this weekend.
“Anna” is projected to open in the low to mid-single digit range. Sasha Luss stars in the action thriller alongside Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy and Helen Mirren that follows the story of an indelible beauty who becomes one of the world’s most feared government assassins.
Summit Entertainment is releasing Besson’s film as a co-production between Besson’s EuropaCorp and TF1 Films Production, with the participation of OCS, TF1, Canal+, TMC.