Documentary ‘Cinematographer’ Headed to DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 27 From MVD and Lightyear

The documentary Cinematographer will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Sept. 27 from MVD Entertainment Group and Lightyear Entertainment.

A look at the art of filmmaking, the documentary include stories and clips from the making of some of the greatest films of the 1970s and 1980s. The film focuses on several men who made a huge impact on a craft that’s vital to the making of any film.

Featuring actors Donald M. Morgan, Jack Green and Owen Roizman, the film is directed by Dan Asma.

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Merchandising: ‘Lightyear’ Steelbook Available at Best Buy

Sept. 13 saw the release of a few major theatricals on disc, including Warner’s Elvis and Disney’s Lightyear. For the most part, however, there wasn’t much in the way of retailer exclusives for them.

The most prominent exclusive was Best Buy offering a $34.99 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook edition of Lightyear, the “Toy Story” spinoff from Pixar. Best Buy had been touting preorders for the Steel book for weeks.

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Other than that, the most notable retailer exclusive during the week was Target’s Pitch Perfect Trilogy 10th Anniversary Limited-Edition Gift Set. The $22.99 collection includes Universal Pictures’ three “Pitch Perfect” movies on Blu-ray with digital copy codes, plus a collectible pitch pipe and a booklet.

Target also ran a promotion offering a free $5 gift card with the purchase of the Where the Crawdads Sing book and either the newly released DVD or Blu-ray of the film adaptation from Sony Pictures.


Sept. 13 DVD and Blu-ray Newcomers Include ‘Elvis,’ ‘Lightyear,’ ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’

Sept. 13 sees the Blu-ray and/or DVD arrival of movies such as Elvis, Lightyear and Where the Crawdads Sing, as well as TV series such as season four of “Cobra Kai” and season six of “Lucifer.”

Director Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis arrives on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 13 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The film, which stars Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, tells the story of Elvis (Butler) through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks). As told by Parker, the film delves into the complex dynamic between the two spanning more than 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge). Elvis earned $150.26 million at the domestic box office. Read a review here

Disney Media & Entertainment Sept. 13 releases Pixar’s Lightyear on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The CG-animated film is based on the Buzz Lightyear character from the “Toy Story” films, and presents an adventure of the hero upon which the toy is based in the fictional world of “Toy Story.” The story finds Lighyear (voiced by Chris Evans) leading a team of Space Rangers into battle against the evil Zurg. It earned $118.31 million at the domestic box office. Read a review here.

The drama Where the Crawdads Sing arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Sept. 13 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on the best-selling mystery thriller novel of the same name, Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world; but when one of them is found dead, she is immediately cast by the community as the main suspect. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what actually happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lie within the marsh. It earned $87.63 million at the domestic box office.

Season four of “Cobra Kai” arrives on DVD Sept. 13 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “Cobra Kai” takes place over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the inescapable conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). Season four finds the Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang dojos joining forces to take down Cobra Kai at the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament — and whoever loses must hang up their gi. As Samantha and Miguel try to maintain the dojo alliance and Robby goes all in at Cobra Kai, the fate of the Valley has never been more precarious. Bonus features include deleted scenes, a blooper reel, and the “Karate Dad” featurette. The fifth sesaon arrived on Netflix Sept. 9.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases the sixth and final season of “Lucifer” on DVD Sept. 13. A Blu-ray is available from Warner Archive. In the sixth and final season of “Lucifer,” viewers close the chapter on the crime-solving Devil. With Los Angeles no longer the battleground for his angelic siblings, Lucifer’s relationship with Chloe has never been stronger. Life is good. But his past always finds a way of catching up to him. The series stars Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D.B. Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Aimee Garcia and Rachael Harris. Based on the characters from DC created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, “Lucifer” is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television. A DVD collection of Lucifer: The Complete Series also will be available Sept. 13, with all 93 episodes from the series as well as hours of bonus features from all six seasons. 

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release season one of the HBO series “The White Lotus” on DVD Sept. 13. The White Lotus: The Complete First Season features all six episodes of the series’ premiere season plus bonus content. The series is also available to stream on HBO Max and to own on digital. A social satire set at an exclusive tropical resort, “The White Lotus” follows the exploits of various guests and employees over the span of one week. Checking into the luxurious White Lotus are a group of vacationers who run roughshod over the resort manager and head of spa services. As darker dynamics emerge with each passing day, this series gradually reveals the complex truths of the seemingly picture-perfect travelers, cheerful hotel employees, and idyllic locale itself. The cast features Murray Bartlett, Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Fred Hechinger, Jake Lacy, Brittany O’Grady, Natasha Rothwell, Sydney Sweeney and Steve Zahn. “The White Lotus” is created, written and directed by Mike White.

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment release SEAL Team: Season Five on DVD Sept. 13. David Boreanaz and Max Thieriot continue their duty defending their country on “SEAL Team.” The four-disc collection includes all 14 episodes of the military drama that follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high stakes missions our country can ask of them.

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment will release Magnum P.I. — Season Four on DVD Sept 13. Jay Hernandez and Perdita Weeks star as Thomas Magnum and Juliet Higgins in the remake of the iconic 1980s series. Former Navy SEAL Magnum and his trusted partner, Higgins, take on high-stake missions to solve mysteries on the shores of Hawaii.

The Ukrainian war movie Sniper: The White Raven debuts on DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 13 from Well Go USA Entertainment. In the film based on a true story, after suffering a senseless tragedy at the hand of invading soldiers in the Donbas region in 2014, a former Ukrainian physics teacher renounces his peaceful way of life and seeks revenge. Upon joining the military and earning a coveted spot as a sniper, he sets his sights on an elite Russian sniper whose elimination could change the tide of the conflict. The action drama from first-time feature film director Marian Bushan stars Pavlo Aldoshyn, Maryna Koshkina, Andriy Mostrenko, Roman Semysal, Oleg Drach, Roman Yasinovskyi and Oleg Shulga.

The limited series Flowers in the Attic: The Origin arrives Sept. 13 on DVD from Lionsgate. Inspired by the books from author V.C. Andrews and based on the prequel novel by Andrew Neiderman, the four-part limited series tells the story of Olivia Winfield (Jemima Rooper) as she is swept off her feet by the charming Malcolm Foxworth (Max Irons), to whom she is eventually wed, making her the mistress of the imposing Foxworth Hall — and ultimately, the victim of the abherrant evils that lurk in Malcolm’s heart and behind the manor’s pristine façade. The fairytale life she expected becomes a nightmare — one that leads to her notorious decision to lock her grandchildren in the attic. The cast also includes Kelsey Grammer, Harry Hamlin, Kate Mulgrew, Paul Wesley, Alana Boden, Hannah Dodd, T’Shan Williams and Callum Kerr.

The true story-based drama Cave Rescue is being released on Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 13. Based on the true nail-biting mission that captivated the world, the film was shot at the original locations featuring real heroes involved in the rescue. In the film, when rising floodwaters trap a boys soccer team in a cave system in Thailand, an Irish cave diver (Jim Warny, as himself) joins the massive effort to save them. 

The horror film He’s Watching will be released on DVD Sept. 13 from Decal and Distribution Solutions. In the film, a brother and sister play pranks on each other when they are left alone while their parents are in the hospital suffering from a mystery illness that only seems to affect adults. The game becomes a nightmare when they discover a presence watching them that wants to play, too. The siblings team up to discover what the presence is and how to escape it. The film stars Gerald Davis, Iris Serena Estes and Jacob Estes.

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Archstone’s horror-in-the-Old-West title The Legend of Hawes will be released for digital purchase Sept. 13 from Distribution Solutions, a division of Alliance Entertainment. In the film, a mountain homestead is attacked by a raiding party made up of ravenous marauders. The lone survivor, a beautiful young woman, hires a dangerous gunman to help her track and exact revenge on the marauders. Together they trek to a forbidding mountain only to find that the savage marauders have a deadly secret. Written and directed by indie horror filmmaker Rene Perez (The Insurrection, The Snow Queen, Once Upon a Time in Deadwood), The Legend of Hawes stars Emily Whitcomb (The Vampire and the Vigilante, Serious Profession), Mike Markoff (Escape to the Cove, Death Squad), Richard Tyson (Black Hawn Down, There’s Something About Mary) and Karin Brauns (The Obsidian Curse).

The 1985 comedy Real Genius will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 13 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film follows a group of crazy college geniuses who put their heads together to do good and a little mischief; Chris (Val Kilmer) is the top brain who just wants to party, Mitch (Gabe Jarret) is the 16-year-old whiz kid, and Lazlo (Jonathan Gries), America’s number one brain, literally lives in a world of his own — Chris’ closet. Supposedly hard at work on a lab project, they still find time to turn the dorm into an ice-skating rink, and throw a beach party in the auditorium complete with a lagoon. When the geniuses discover that their unscrupulous mentor Professor Hathaway (William Atherton) has had them working on a secret weapon for the military, they plot an elaborate revenge. Their plan culminates in an incredible scheme that outsmarts the military. The 4K Ultra HD disc includes the feature scanned from the original camera negative and presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, reviewed and approved by director Martha Coolidge. Sound includes new Dolby Atmos and 5.1 audio, reviewed and approved by Coolidge, plus the original Dolby Stereo.

The MGM John Candy comedy Canadian Bacon is being released on Blu-ray for the first time Sept. 13 from MVD Entertainment Group as part of the MVD Marquee Collection. Academy Award-winning writer/director Michael Moore serves up the political satire starring the late Candy (Planes, Trains and Automobiles), as well as Rhea Perlman (“Cheers”), Alan Alda (Marriage Story), Kevin Pollak (The Usual Suspects), Rip Torn (Men in Black) and Steven Wright (Natural Born Killers). In the film, faced with sagging approval ratings and disgruntled arms manufacturers, the U.S. President (Alda) decides to cook up a new Cold War with Canada. After a flood of media propaganda, Americans waste no time in “patriotically” burning their ice skates and swearing off maple syrup. But when bumbling U.S. sheriff Boomer (Candy) and his hair-trigger deputy Honey (Perlman) decide to take matters into their own hands and lead a preemptive strike, they soon find themselves embroiled in a hilarious international incident. Canadian Bacon marks the first and only narrative, non-documentary movie written, produced and directed by Moore (Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Roger & Me). The film, an official selection at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, features cinematography by two-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), one of the 10 most influential cinematographers in movie history, according to an International Cinematographers Guild. Special features include the original theatrical trailer; reversible artwork; and a limited-edition slipcover for the first pressing only.

The science-fiction fantasy films Land of Doom, Robot Holocaust, Rollerball and Voyage Into Space will be released on Blu-ray Disc Sept. 13 from Ronin Flix and MVD Entertainment Group.

In director Norman Jewison’s Rollerball (1975), the year is 2018. There are no wars. There is no crime. There is only — the Game. In a world where ruthless corporations reign supreme, this vicious and barbaric “sport” is the only outlet for the pent-up anger and frustrations of the masses. Tuned to their televisions, the people watch Rollerball — a brutal mutation of football, motocross and hockey. Jonathan E. (James Caan) is the champion player, a man too talented for his own good. The Corporation has taken away the woman Jonathan loves, but they can’t take away his soul, even if the diabolical corporate head (John Houseman) tells him he better retire — or suffer the old-fashioned way. The film also stars John Beck, Maud Adams, Moses Gunn and Shane Rimmer. Special features on the cult classic, taken from a 4K scan, include audio commentary with Jewison; audio commentary with writer William Harrison; the “From Rome to Rollerball” featurette; “Blood Sports: An interview with James Caan”; an interview with stuntman Bob Minor; and the theatrical trailer and TV spots. The film, which won the Saturn Award for Best Science-Fiction Film for 1974-75, was the first major Hollywood production to give screen credit to its stunt performers and inspired the short-lived TNN sports show “RollerJam” (1999).

In Robot Holocaust (1987), in the not-so-distant future, mankind is facing uncertainty in the rubble of the destruction of New York. Powerful robots have taken over the world, poisoning the air and making humans their slaves. One man, Neo, and his robot Klyton take on giant worms, flesh eating mutants, killer robots and the evil power of The Dark One in a desperate battle to reclaim earth for the human race. Special features include an on-camera Interview with actress Jennifer Delora. Robot Holocaust was featured on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” in its first season.

Deborah Rennard (“Dallas,” Lionheart) stars in the postnuke classic Land of Doom (1986). In the film, much of the planet’s population and environment has been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. Those who are still alive live in caves, and many roam the wasteland in marauding gangs. But some survivors, including Harmony (Rennard) and Anderson (Garrick Dowhen), want a better life and go in search of rumored paradise, a city called Blue Lake, where no rape, murder and pillaging are said to exist. However, the maniacal metal-faced Slater (Daniel Radell), Anderson’s rival, wants them dead. Special features include an on-camera interview with Rennard and the original trailer.

Voyage Into Space (1970) is a compilation of certain episodes from the TV series “Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot,” which aired from 1968 to 1969. The film features the far-out exploits of a young secret agent with the Unicorn Peacekeeping Organization as he battles the vile minions and colossal monsters of Emperor Guillotine, extraterrestrial dictator of the nefarious Gargoyle Gang. Joining the fight is an atomic-powered giant robot, armed with a fantastic array of super weapons, which only Johnny can command via a unique remote-control wristwatch. This original compilation movie, assembled by American International Television from episodes of the Toei Company tele-series, was a beloved favorite for scores of kaiju-crazy kids across the United States in the 1970s. From the makers of “Gigantor” and “Kamen Rider,” Voyage Into Space is part James Bond, part “Jonny Quest” and part “Ultraman”  with over-the-top plots, oddball villains, outrageous creatures, outré special effects and outlandish action, topped with an offbeat jazz score. Special features include audio commentary with film historian August Ragone.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Samba TV: ‘Lightyear’ Disney+ Debut Fails to Match ‘Encanto’ Bow

New data from Samba TV found that 1.7 million U.S. Disney+ subscriber households watched Lightyear during its Aug. 3-7 debut. That was about 1 million fewer households than the Disney animated musical Encanto scored during its debut week of streaming, which began on Dec. 23, 2021.

Samba, which says it tracks an addressable footprint of 46 million opted-in devices worldwide, said 255,000 U.K. households, 39,000 German and 12,000 Aussie homes streamed Lightyear in its debut.

Of the top 25 designated market areas in the U.S., Denver over-indexed the most (+28%), followed by Seattle (+27%) and Phoenix (+25%).

“The movie landed a strong opening weekend on streaming after spending several weeks in theaters, but fell short of Disney’s last animated theatrical release,” Cole Strain, VP of measurement products for  Samba TV, said in a statement.

First Week of August Sees ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru,’ ‘Lightyear’ Available Digitally

The first week of August 2022 is a slow one for notable new releases on Blu-ray and DVD, while the week’s digital debuts include Minions: The Rise of Gru Aug. 2, and Lightyear Aug. 3.

Aug. 2 sees Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release Minions: The Rise of Gru for premium digital purchase and VOD. The latest animated film from Illumination Entertainment is the fifth entry in the “Despicable Me” franchise and the second prequel. It earned $320.5 million at the domestic box office. The Aug. 2 digital release follows a new trend for Universal that, like with Jurassic World: Dominion a few weeks ago, involves suddenly dropping theatrical titles for premium digital without much in the way of an advance announcement, in keeping with the studio’s strategy to reduce the theatrical window even for its hit films.

Disney Media & Entertainment releases Pixar’s Lightyear for digital purchase Aug. 3, as well as for streaming on Disney+. The CG-animated film is based on the Buzz Lightyear character from the “Toy Story” films, and presents an adventure of the hero upon which the toy is based in the fictional world of “Toy Story.” The story finds Lighyear (voiced by Chris Evans) leading a team of Space Rangers into battle against the evil Zurg. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 13.

RLJE Entertainment Aug. 2 releases the actioner White Elephant on Blu-ray and DVD. When an assassination attempt is witnessed by two cops, Gabriel Tancredi, an ex-marine turned mob enforcer (Michael Rooker), is ordered by his ruthless mob boss (Bruce Willis) to eliminate any and all threats. With an eager underling out to prove himself, rival gangs making moves and a rising body count, every step Tancredi makes threatens lives, including his own. The cast also includes Olga Kurylenko, Vadhir Derbez and John Malkovich.

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The 1990 science-fiction thriller Flatliners arrives on Blu-ray Aug. 2 from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group. Known for his eclectic filmography and for helping to launch the careers of several young Hollywood stars of the ’80s and ’90s, Joel Schumacher (The Lost Boys, St. Elmo’s Fire) tackles the question of what happens after death in Flatliners, due Aug. 2 on both 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc. The film, which stars Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt, follows five ambitious medical students who subject themselves to a daring experiment, temporarily inducing their own deaths, hoping to glimpse the afterlife before being brought back to life. As competition within the group intensifies and their visions of the world beyond increasingly bleed into their waking lives, they learn that the greatest threat comes not from the spirit world but from the long-suppressed secrets of their own pasts. Each release features a new 4K restoration from the original negative, approved by the director of photography Jan de Bont (Basic Instinct). First pressings will include an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Amanda Reyes and Peter Tonguette.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Disney+ to Stream Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ Beginning Aug. 3

The Disney+ streaming platform will begin offering Pixar Animation’s theatrical release Lightyear on Aug. 3.

The animated spin-off featuring the “Toy Story” character Buzz Lightyear generated more than $213 million at the global box office, including $115.5 million across North American screens since its June 17 release.

Lightyear looks amazing on the big screen, of course, but we are so excited to bring it to Disney+,” Angus MacLane, director of the movie, said in a statement. “We devoted years of our lives to this film and we are so proud of it. We want to share it with as many people as possible. Disney+ not only gives more fans an opportunity to see Lightyear, it gives us all the means to see it again and again.”

Disney launched a new promotional spot to help market the movie’s availability on Disney+.

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Crowded Weekend Box Office Features ‘Elvis’ and ‘The Black Phone’ Debuts

The June 26 weekend box office is set to take on a pre-pandemic look with five major theatrical releases competing for consumers’ spending.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ high-profile biopic Elvis generated $3.5 million in June 23 pre-screening revenue to cement itself as the weekend pole sitter. The Baz Luhrmann-directed movie features Austin Butler as “The King of Rock & Roll,” and Tom Hanks as the Elvis Presley’s overbearing manager Colonel Tom Parker.

The movie, which generated a 83% Rotten Tomatoes score from 95 critics through June 22, is projected to generate from $25 million to $38 million in North American ticket sales, putting it ahead of Universal Pictures’ new Blumhouse horror flick, The Black Phone, starring Ethan Hawke, at $20.3 million in projected revenue. The movie has a 86% Rotten Tomatoes score from 57 critics.

The new releases buttress theatrical holdovers Jurassic World: Dominion (Universal) with $31.5 million in projected revenue, Paramount Pictures’ enduring Top Gun: Maverick ($30 million), and Disney/Pixar Animation’s Lightyear with $23 million is estimated revenue in its second weekend of release.

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This Week’s Podcast: ‘The Offer,’ ‘The Northman’ Reviews; Weekend Box Office Report; ‘Back to the Future’ VHS Auction

In this week’s episode of the Media Play News Podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley cover two of John Latchem’s reviews. The first is for the Paramount+ docudrama The Offer, chronicling the behind-the-scenes production of The Godfather. The second is for the historical drama The Northman, mentioned on past podcast episodes and now expanded on even further.
Following this week’s reviews are the box office stats for Disney’s Lightyear as well as Jurassic World: Dominion and Top GunLightyear had a difficult opening weekend, but the other two films continue to shine with strong audience turnout. The hosts debate the effect direct-to-streaming movies have had for the past couple of years on audience habits.
The episode wraps up with an interesting story on a VHS copy of Back to the Future selling for tens of thousands of dollars at auction, and similar cases where old pieces of media have sold for eye-watering prices.

‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Takes Second Weekend Box Office as ‘Lightyear’ Stumbles in Debut

Universal Pictures’ dinosaur sequel Jurassic World Dominion held onto the No. 1 position at the North American box office, generating more than estimated $58.6 million in its second week of domestic release through June 19. That was enough to hold off big name challenger, Pixar Animation’s Lightyear, which bowed with an estimated $51 million in ticket sales.

With a reported production budget approaching $200 million, Lightyear’s performance portends a troubling fiscal reality going forward. The movie was the first Pixar title to receive a theatrical bow since the dawn of the pandemic, with the three previous Pixar releases — Soul, Luca and Turning Red — going straight to the Disney+ streaming platform. The trend suggests some family audiences may have become accustomed to the streaming option — skipping the theater in anticipation of Lightyear coming to streaming shortly.

Others pin the underperformance to Disney generating several political controversies of late, as company executives vowed to insert more queer representation into its films, including a lesbian family in Lightyear. With star Chris Evans calling potential viewers who may be wary of such content in a childrens’ film “idiots,” conservative audiences were likely turned off by the publicity and stayed away.

For Dominion, the tally ups the movie’s North American gross revenue to $259 million. Filling out the podium: Paramount Pictures’ enduring sequel Top Gun: Maverick, which saw another $44 million in ticket sales across more than 4,000 screens. Significantly, the projected weekend gross ranks No. 2 behind 2009’s Avatar ($50 million) as the highest for a movie in its fourth weekend of release. Maverick has generated $466 million in North American revenue; $885 globally — tops for a Tom a Cruise movie.

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Can Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ Knock Off ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ From Atop Weekend Box Office?

The summer weekend box office kicks ups gear with the debut of Disney/Pixar Animation’s long-awaited sequel Lightyear, which takes on the current champ, Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World Dominion. It promises to be an interesting battle between two blockbuster movie franchises on back-to-back weekends.

Dominion, as expected, lived up to the hype, generating an adjusted $145 million in its North American debut. But the ticket sales drop-off through Father’s Day (June 19) is projected to be steep (63%) at around $54 million. The culprit: Much of the movie’s target audience is male.

That’s enough of a decline to enable Lightyear — the first Pixar theatrical release since Onward at the start of the pandemic, and first Toy Story-themed title since 2019’s Toy Story 4 — to assume the box office throne. Whether the film can match Toy Story 4’s $120.9 million opening domestic box office is another matter. The latter featured an ensemble cast of characters in comedy roles. Lightyear focuses on one character: Buzz Lightyear.

Regardless, Lightyear generated $5.2 million in Thursday night sneak-peak screenings.

Some observers also wonder whether Disney’s penchant for releasing recent Pixar titles (Soul, Turning Red) directly to the Disney+ streaming service might dissuade some parents from becoming moviegoers. But Disney, as of late, appears to be sticking to a 45-day theatrical window for big screen releases.

Indeed, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness remained exclusively in theaters for 47 days.

Rounding out the box office podium is Paramount Pictures’ enduring Top Gun: Maverick, which is expected to generate another $40 million in ticket sales — down just 23% from last weekend.

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