Theatrical Shocker: ‘Sound of Freedom’ Ups Second-Weekend Box Office 37% to $27 Million; No. 2 Behind ‘Mission: Impossible 7’

While hubbub around the $80 million opening weekend of Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One dominated theatrical news, Angel Studios’ Sound of Freedom achieved what no other major box office release this year has — a significant uptick in second-weekend ticket sales to finish No. 2 through July 16.

Starring Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) as a former U.S. federal agent hunting down child traffickers and rescuing children, the movie sold $27 million in tickets over the weekend, which was up 37% from $19.7 million in revenue from its opening weekend. The movie, which also stars Mira Sorvino and Bill Camp, has sold $85 million in tickets worldwide and is projected to top $100 million through next weekend.

Rounding out the podium were Sony/Screen Gems/Stage 6 Films/Blumhouse’s Insidious: The Red Door, projected to make $13 million for the weekend, bringing its total domestic gross to $58 million through two weekends, $122.6 million globally.

Disney/Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny finished No. 4, adding $12 million, to up its North American tally to $145.3 million, $275 million worldwide. Disney/Pixar Animation’s Elemental followed with $8.7 million, to up its five-week North American tally past $125 million, $270 million globally.

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Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse made another $6 million for the weekend, bringing its total domestic gross to $368.8 million through Sunday, and $663.5 million globally. The studio’s comedy No Hard Feelings added $3.3 million for the weekend, bringing its total domestic gross to $46.6 million through Sunday, $77.6 million worldwide.

Finally, Paramount’s other major release, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts added $3.42 million to up its six week North American total near $153 million, $415 million worldwide.

Disney+ Bows Pixar’s New ‘Cars on the Road’ Series Clip, Soundtrack

In honor of “Lightning McQueen Day” and the pending Sept. 8 launch of Disney/Pixar Animation’s new series “Cars on the Road,” Disney+ bowed the show’s soundtrack from Walt Disney Records and a three-minute clip from the third episode, “Salt Fever.”

The original series follows Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and his best friend Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) as they head east from Radiator Springs on a cross-country road trip to meet up with Mater’s sister.

Premiering on Disney+ Day, Sept. 8, “Cars on the Road” is produced by Marc Sondheimer. The series’ episodes are directed by Steve Purcell (Eps 1, 2, 8), Bobby Podesta (Eps 5, 6, 9) and Brian Fee (Eps 3, 4, 7).

Composer Jake Monaco created the score for all nine episodes, which is featured on the soundtrack, which features the musical talents of 79 musicians and 17 singers, and showcases moments from the series, including the full version of the theme song plus other tunes.

Disney+ Day returns on Thursday leading into D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event presented by Visa in Anaheim, Calif. Disney+ will host special experiences for fans and subscribers and will premiere new content from its marquee brands — Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

 

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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‘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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‘Turning Red’ to Debut on Digital April 26, Disc May 3

Disney and Pixar’s animated Turning Red will be available for digital purchase April 26, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD May 3 from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

In the film, confident, dorky 13-year-old Mei (voice of Rosalie Chiang) must balance being a dutiful daughter with the chaos of adolescence. Her slightly overbearing mom (voice of Sandra Oh) is never far from her daughter. And, as if changes to Mei’s interests, relationships and body aren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited, she “poofs” into a giant red panda.

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Bonus features, which vary by product and retailer, include seven deleted scenes, three featurettes and audio commentary with director Domee Shi.

Turning Red is also streaming on Disney+.

Disney+ to Exclusively Premiere Pixar’s ‘Turning Red’ March 11

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution has announced that Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red will premiere exclusively in homes worldwide on Disney+ March 11.

In international markets where Disney+ is not yet available, the film will be released theatrically, with premiere dates to be announced.

“Disney+ subscribers around the world enthusiastically embraced Pixar’s Academy Award-winning Soul and the critically-acclaimed Luca when they premiered exclusively on the service, and we look forward to bringing them Pixar’s next incredible feature film, Turning Red,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “Given the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films, flexibility remains at the core of our distribution decisions as we prioritize delivering the unparalleled content of The Walt Disney Co. to audiences around the world.”

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Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter — an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited, she “poofs” into a giant red panda. The film is directed by Academy Award winner Domee Shi (Pixar short “Bao”).

Disney Partners With Postable to Promote ‘Luca’ Home Entertainment Release

Disney is partnering with Postable to promote the transactional digital, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray and DVD release of Pixar Animation’s Luca on Aug. 3.

To help market the retail release, Disney and Pixar are celebrating International Friendship Day by partnering with the online postcard snail mail sender to help friends say “ciao.” Movie fans can send physical postcards featuring movie characters Luca, Alberto and Giulia, with four greeting options each showing appreciation for companionship, adventure and acceptance while supplies last.

To send a Luca postcard, consumers can visit https://www.postable.com/luca, type a personal message, add their name and address, and Postable will mail the postcard free of charge.

Disney has also released a new Luca in-home trailer, which includes two alternate openings, deleted scenes and related bonus features.

Set in a seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Luca is a coming-of-age story about a young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer. Luca shares his amazing adventures with his friend Alberto. But their fun is threatened by a deeply held secret: They’re sea monsters from a world below the water’s surface.

Disney first released the erstwhile theatrical release June 18 exclusively to Disney+ subscribers for free.

Report: Disney’s ‘Soul’ Top-Streamed Movie in the Past Seven Months

New data from Samba TV finds the Dec. 25, 2020 debut of Disney/Pixar’s Soul remains the most-streamed movie in the past seven months — topping Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat and Amazon Prime Video’s Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, among others.

Fallout from the pandemic has seen Hollywood alter traditional movie distribution to include direct-to-streaming launches for new titles. Disney and WarnerMedia have led the move, followed by Hulu, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video.

Warner is releasing its entire 2021 theatrical slate on HBO Max concurrently with box office rollout.

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Direct-to-streaming movies continued to roll out, with major blockbusters hitting living room screens the same day as, or even before, their theatrical debuts across all major platforms. While Soul and WW84 continued to lead the pack from the fourth quarter of 2020 over both their three-day premiere window and for 30 days after, March held some huge debuts as well, with HBO Max’s Zack Snyder’s The Justice League and Godzilla vs. Kong seeing sizable three-day viewership tallies.

Through the end of the first quarter, Soul had generated more than 5.8 million household views, followed by WW84 with 4.3 million. Mortal Kombat started strong with 3.6 million households since its April 23 launch. Detective drama The Little Things has slightly more than 3 million households.

Pay-TV Viewership Decline Continues

Separately, according to Samba TV’s analysis, there was a 10% quarter-over-quarter decline in the daily average number of TV-viewing U.S. households consuming linear-TV, along with a 14% decline in total minutes viewed. Every month since November has progressively seen lower daily average U.S. household tune-ins than the previous month.

On top of that, linear-TV advertising impressions were down year-over-year across the U.S., U.K., and Germany showing that demonstrates that the industry has not quite returned to pre-pandemic levels and likely will continue to shift to digital as viewers increase time-shifting and streaming behaviors.

Interest in premium linear content is down: The average number of households that watched Showtime, HBO and Starz each day in the first quarter of 2021 was lower than it was in the fourth quarter of 2020. Starz saw the steepest drop-off at -21%, followed by HBO (-17%) and Showtime (-6%).

Linear-TV losses were widespread: 81% of U.S. TV networks saw quarter-over-quarter declines based on average daily household. Live sports continued its viewership slide as well. Q1 2021 was full of major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, but overall sports viewership continued to decline year-over-year, which started with the stoppage of major sports leagues in March.

Report: More Than 3 Million U.S. Households Streamed ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Through End of 2020

The nation’s most-hyped theatrical release, Wonder Woman 1984, was streamed by 3.03 million U.S. households through the end of the year, according to new data from Samba TV. WarnerMedia released the DC superhero movie starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Kristen Wiig on Christmas Day in theaters and on the HBO Max SVOD service.

Samba tracks viewer recommend program data — called Automatic Content Recognition — from more than 13.5 million smart TVs in the United States.

The company said about 250,000 homes tuned in each of the last three nights of the year, with female streamers over-indexing about 2% when compared to the overall. Asian households increased by 16%, Hispanic (+14%), and African American (+4%), as did households making more than $100,000, residents aged 25-54, and under 20 years old. Viewership remained strongest in Seattle (+72%), San Francisco (+67%), and Portland (+41%).

Meanwhile, Disney/Pixar Animation’s Soul continued its mastery over WW84 with 3.8 million domestic households streaming the movie on Disney+ in its opening week (Dec. 25-31), while nearly 487,000 U.K. households watched it. The peak in both countries was on Dec. 26 when just over 1 million and 136,000 watched it, respectively.

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In the U.S., households with incomes under $75,000 over-indexed, as did homes with streamers under 45 years old. Households with a female increased streaming by 5%, followed by black households (+7%), and Hispanic (+15%). Of the top 25 markets, the most over-indexing were Portland (+20%), Los Angeles (+19%), and Seattle (+13%).

Finally, Samba said 109,000 U.K. households and 427,000 U.S. homes streamed the live-action Mulan remake from Christmas to New Year’s Eve (Dec. 24 through Dec. 31). The peak in the U.K. was on Dec. 26 with nearly 20,000 homes watching it that day, while in the U.S. the peak was on Dec. 25, with nearly 85,000 households streaming it that day.

Disney has not released data on how Mulan fared on its PVOD debut over the Labor Day weekend and through the end of 2020.

Samba reported that U.S. households with residents 44 years old and younger over-indexed as compared to the country overall. Black households increased 3%, while Hispanic homes increased 20%. Notably, Asian households under indexed by 12%. Of the Top 25 markets, St. Louis (+54%) and Orlando (+32%) over-indexed the most.