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.