Disney/Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’ Could Have Biggest Box Office Opening Since ‘Barbie’

Disney/Pixar Animation’s Inside Out 2 is looking to become a theatrical blockbuster. The computer animated sequel to 2015’s Inside Out again features Amy Poehler leading the voice cast and is projected to generate almost $120 million at the North American box office through June 16, according to new data from BoxOfficeReport.com.

The tally, based on part on the movie’s wide opening across more than 4,400 screens, including Imax theaters, should top the $90 million-plus debut for Inside Out, which went on to generate $859 million worldwide.

Inside Out 2 generated more than $13 million in Thursday sneak screenings — the highest tally since Barbie last summer.

More importantly, Inside Out 2 could beat the opening weekend debut for Warner Bros. Pictures’ Dune: Part Two ($82.5 million), which would be the biggest theatrical debut since last July’s $162 million Barbie bow.

Dune: Part Two remains the year’s No. 1 box office release with more than $711.8 million in ticket sales.

Columbia Pictures’ Bad Boys: Ride or Die (projected $30 million) and The Garfield Movie (projected $5.4 million) should round out the weekend podium, with Ride or Die remaining a strong theatrical draw following last weekend’s $56.3 million debut. The Will Smith/Martin Lawrence action comedy should see its North American box office reach $108 million after 10 days.

Garfield, featuring the voice of Chris Platt as the oversized cat, should see its North American box office near $80 million since its theatrical debut four weekends ago.

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Box office returnees include Paramount Pictures’ IF with a projected $4.7 million in ticket sales, followed by 20th Century Studios’ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes with a projected $4.2 million. Other titles include Warner’s The Watchers (projected $3.3 million), Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga ($2.4 million), and Universal Pictures’ The Fall Guy ($1.7 million).

Sony Pictures Entertainment Acquires Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Sony Pictures Entertainment has acquired theatrical exhibitor Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

SPE acquired Alamo Drafthouse from owners Altamont Capital Partners, Fortress Investment Group and founder Tim League.

The company will be managed within SPE under a newly established division, Sony Pictures Experiences. 

Alamo Drafthouse’s Michael Kustermann will remain CEO of the pioneering dine-in movie theater chain and head Sony Pictures Experiences, reporting to Ravi Ahuja, president and chief operating officer of SPE. Alamo Drafthouse will continue to operate all 35 of its cinemas across 25 metro areas under the Alamo Drafthouse brand. Alamo Drafthouse-owned Fantastic Fest, the genre film festival, is included in the acquisition and will also continue to be operated by Alamo Drafthouse. The company’s headquarters will remain in Austin.

“We believe strongly in engaging entertainment fans outside the home in fun and distinctive ways as seen most recently with our Wheel of Fortune LIVE! traveling tour, and the opening of Wonderverse in Chicago,” Ahuja said in a statement. “Alamo Drafthouse’s differentiated movie-going experience, admired brand and devoted community fit well with this vision.  Our Crunchyroll business also aligns well with their audience’s interests. We look forward to building upon the innovations that have made Alamo Drafthouse successful and will, of course, continue to welcome content from all studios and distributors.” 

Alamo Drafthouse was founded in 1997 by Tim and Karrie League as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin and has grown into a dine-in cinema chain. As North America’s seventh largest theater chain, it releases more movies per year than any other theater chain, welcomes more than 10 million guests annually, and has built a highly engaged core audience of 4 million loyalty members, according to the press release. Last year, the theater chain saw a 30% jump in box office revenue from the previous year, which came in ahead of the industry at large.

“We are beyond thrilled to join forces with Sony Pictures Entertainment to expand our company vision to be the best damn cinema that has ever, or will ever, exist now in ways we could only ever dream of,” Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, said in a statement. “They have a deep respect and understanding of cinema’s ability to both drive growth and create lasting cultural impact which aligns perfectly with everything Alamo Drafthouse stands for.”

“Alamo Drafthouse has always held the craft of filmmaking and the theatrical experience in high esteem, which are fundamental shared values between our companies. I’m jazzed that our company is doing this,” Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, said in a statement.

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“We are excited to make history with Sony Pictures Entertainment and have found the right home and partner for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema,” Michael Kustermann, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, said in a statement. “We were created by film lovers for film lovers. We know how important this is to Sony, and it serves as further evidence of their commitment to the theatrical experience. Together we will continue to innovate and bring exciting new opportunities for our teammates and moviegoers alike.”

Will Smith Returns to the Big Screen as Sony’s ‘Bad Boys 4’ Looks to Jumpstart Summer Box Office

Will Smith makes his big screen return in Columbia Pictures’ Bad Boys: Ride or Die the June 7-9 weekend. In the fourth film in the franchise, Smith and Martin Lawrence once again team up as Miami detectives in a mix of action and comedy. The franchise’s last release, 2020’s Bad Boys for Life, which co-starred Vanessa Hudgens, generated $426.5 million at the global box office — before the pandemic shuttered the industry.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die made $5.875 million from Thursday sneak previews starting at 3 p.m. across 3,339 screen locations, according to Sony. The film received a five-star PostTrak rating and holds a 97% Rotten Tomatoes audience score.

The movie is projected to generate upwards of $50 million at the weekend box office through June 9, according to new data from BoxOfficeReport.com That would be about 32% less than the $73 million opening for Bad Boys for Life over the extended Jan. 17-20, 2022, Martin Luther King weekend.

For Smith, Ride or Die is the actor’s biggest profile film since his infamous slap of Chris Rock live on stage at the 94th Academy Awards Oscars telecast on March 27, 2022, in Los Angeles. The slap was in response to a joke Rock made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Smith, who won Best Actor in 2022 for King Richard, resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following the incident, and was banned from Oscar events for 10 years.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ supernatural thriller The Watchers, starring Dakota Fanning, and directed by Ishana Night Shyamalan, daughter of director M. Night Shyamalan, is the only other new weekend release. It is projected to sell $8.2 million in tickets — just behind Paramount Pictures’ IF with a projectd $8.4 million, and Columbia Pictures’ animated The Garfield Movie with a projected $10 million.

Other box office returnees include 20th Century Studios’ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes with a projected $5.9 million, Warner’s Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga ($5 million), Universal Pictures’ The Fall Guy ($3 million), and Lionsgate’s The Strangers: Chapter 1 ($2.1 million).

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Pluto TV’s ‘Summer of Cinema’ Campaign Returns

Pluto TV is bringing back its “Free Movie Weekend” program as a part of its “Summer of Cinema” campaign. The program provides complimentary movie tickets to independent theaters around the country during select weekends all summer.

The service has partnered with 14 family-run and independent theaters to provide moviegoers with free tickets, giveaways, and theater activities to support local and historic theaters.

The full list of participating theaters and dates for Pluto TV’s “Free Movie Weekend” is as follows:

  • Gardena Cinema — Los Angeles: June 8-9
  •  Water Gardens Cinema 6 — Pleasant Grove, Utah: June 21-22
  • Roslyn Theatre — Roslyn, Wash.: June 22-23
  • Texas Theatre — Dallas, Texas: June 29-30
  • Tampa Theatre — Tampa, Fla.: July 6-7
  • The Independent — Charlotte, N.C.: July 20-21
  • Star Theatre — Berkeley Springs, W.Va.: July 27-28
  • Next Act Cinema — Pikesville, Md.: July 27-28
  • The Colonial Theatre — Phoenixville, Pa.: Aug. 3-4
  • Stuart Cinema and Cafe — Brooklyn, N.Y.: Aug. 10-11
  • Capitol Theatre — Arlington, Mass: Aug. 17-18
  • Redford Theatre — Detroit: Aug. 24-25
  • Music Box Theatre — Chicago: Aug. 31-Sept. 1

 

The project is a part of Pluto’s ongoing Business Karma initiative, which aims to give back to local communities and businesses. Created in 2021, the “Free Movie Weekend” was designed to bolster local cinemas and encourage patrons to return to the movies after a year of closures and stay-at-home orders.

“To date, the program has teamed up to sponsor nearly 40 theaters in 30 different states, becoming a cherished event for theaters and Pluto TV alike as independent theaters continue their efforts to rebuild and the service reinforces its stronghold as a complementary and critical piece of the entertainment ecosystem,” according to Pluto TV.

In addition, beginning June 1, Pluto TV is kicking off “Summer of Cinema,” a tentpole programming initiative that features hundreds of films and franchises across the platform. The service will roll out new titles each month spanning action, drama, comedy, sci-fi and more, adding to its extensive library of movies.

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“Pluto TV’s summer movie campaign has received an incredibly positive response year after year, and we are excited to highlight our extensive film offering once again,” Amy Kuessner, EVP of programming for Pluto TV, said in a statement. “By joining ‘Summer of Cinema’ with ‘Free Movie Weekends,’ Pluto TV is able to champion a love of blockbuster movies and allow audiences to experience the fun both at theaters and in their homes, all for free.”

New titles coming in June include Transformers (2007), Mission: Impossible (1996), War of the Worlds (2005), Tropic Thunder, The Italian Job (2003) and Collateral.

Warner’s ‘Furiosa’ Edges Sony’s ‘Garfield’ in Smallest Memorial Day Weekend Box Office in 30 Years

Warner Bros. Pictures’ prequel Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga edged Columbia Pictures’ animated The Garfield Movie with $32 million in projected North American ticket sales ($65 million globally) over the lackluster four-day Memorial Day weekend box office (May 27).

The unofficial start to summer saw the smallest North American Memorial Day weekend box office ($92.4 million) since 1993’s $84 million holiday haul, excluding 2020 when theaters were closed due to the pandemic.

Furiosa, starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth, and with a reported $168 million production budget, opened a whopping 73% lower than last year’s Memorial Day winner, Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid with $118.8 million in ticket sales.

Columbia Pictures/Alcon Entertainment’s Garfield (featuring Chris Pratt as the voice as Garfield) made a projected $31.1 million across 4,035 screens. With a reported $60 million production budget, 83% Rotten Tomatoes audience score, a four-and-a-half star PostTrak rating for parents and kids, and summer school vacations beginning this week, the film is well-positioned for a long theatrical run, according to Sony.

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Ryan Gosling’s ‘The Fall Guy’ $28.5 Million Weekend Box Office Debut Underwhelms

Less than two months after his Barbie Academy Awards show-stealing musical number “I’m Just Ken,” Ryan Gosling’s theatrical return in The Fall Guy was thought to possibly ignite the early summer box office season.

Instead, the Universal Pictures’ action/comedy co-starring Emily Blunt sold $28.5 million in projected opening weekend tickets through May 5, about $1.5 million below estimates. With a $130 million production budget (excluding marketing), the movie’s soft opening was buttressed in part by $25.4 million in foreign revenue, upping its global haul past $65 million.

Regardless, should Universal not extend the movie’s domestic theatrical window to 31 days for reaching $50 million, Fall Guy could make an early transition to PVOD, followed by exclusive streaming on the Peacock platform over the summer.

At No. 2 for the weeked was the 25th anniversary re-release of 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which added $8.1 million in revenue across 2,700 screens, upping its North American tally to $482.6 million, and $1.04 billion globally.

At No. 3 with $7.6 million in revenue was last weekend’s No. 1, Amazon MGM Studios’ Challengers, starring Zendaya as a budding tennis champ caught up in love triangle.

Sony/Screen Gems’ Tarot made $2.545 million on Friday, $2.355 million on Saturday and a projected $1.6 million on Sunday across 3,104 screens. The studio is projecting a $6.5 million opening weekend for the low budget release.

Other box office returnees included Warner Bros. Pictures’ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which added $4.5 million in ticket sales across 2,884 screens to up its domestic tally past $188 million after six weekends, and A24’s Civil War, which sold another $3.5 million in tickets to up its four-week total to $62 million. Lionsgate’s Unsung Hero added $3 million in revenue to up its two-week tally past $13 million after two weekends, and Columbia Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire made $405,000 on Friday, $865,000 on Saturday and a projected $530,000 on Sunday across 2,025 screens. The studio is projecting $1.8 million for the weekend, bringing its total domestic gross to almost $110 million through Sunday.

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Ryan Gosling Returns to the Big Screen in ‘The Fall Guy’

Ryan Gosling may not have won an Oscar playing Ken in last summer’s oft-nominated theatrical blockbuster Barbie, but he did steal the Academy Awards TV broadcast singing “I’m Just Ken” from the movie’s soundtrack.

Now, the versatile actor is back on the big screen headlining Universal Pictures’ actioner The Fall Guy. Gosling plays down-on-his-luck stuntman Colt Seavers, who must find the missing leading man during the production of his ex-girlfriend’s (Emily Blunt) new blockbuster movie. Eighty-five-year-old Lee Majors, who played Colt Seavers in the 1980s “The Fall Guy” TV series, along with co-star Heather Thomas, reportedly make cameo appearances in the movie.

The theatrical release is projected to generate almost $30 million in revenue across North American screens, topping the weekend box office through May 5, according to new data from BoxOfficeReport.com. The movie, which sold $3.1 million in Thursday screenings, has already generated about $8.4 in revenue following its April 24 international release.

The numbers should easily enable Fall Guy to top Disney’s 25th anniversary re-release of 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, which is projected to finish No. 2 over the weekend with $11.5 million in incremental revenue. The original movie sold more than $1 billion in tickets, making it one of the biggest global theatrical blockbusters following Titanic in 1997.

Rounding out the theatrical podium is projected to be last weekend’s winner, Amazon MGM Studios’ Challengers, starring Zendaya as a budding tennis star in the middle of a love triangle. The movie is projected to sell another $8.4 million in tickets, down 44% from its $30.1 million debut through April 28.

The weekend’s other new release is Screen Gems’ horror comedy Tarot, which finds a group of friends unwittingly unleash evil hidden in a deck of Tarot cards. The movie is expected to generate around $7 million in revenue.

Box office returnees include: Warner Bros. Pictures’ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire with a projected $4.9 million in ticket sales, upping its global tally near $528 million ($188.5 million domestically); A24’s politically charged Civil War with a projected $4.6 million ($95 million/$61 million); Lionsgate’s Unsung Hero with a projected $3.8 million in ticket sales ($13 million globally); Universal’s Abigail with a projected $2.7 million in ticket sales ($33 million worldwide).

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Amazon MGM Studios’ Zendaya Film ‘Challengers’ Vies for Weekend Box Office Throne

Amazon/MGM Studios’ new tennis-themed threesome romance Challengers, starring Zendaya (Dune, “Spider-Man” franchises), Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor, looks to wrest the top spot from A24’s Civil War at the weekend box with a projected $15 million-$17 million in ticket sales through April 28, according to new data from BoxOfficeReport.com. The movie generated $1.9 million in Thursday sneak peek screenings.

Also opening this weekend is Lionsgate’s faith-based Unsung Hero, about an Australian musical family’s move to the United States, searching for a brighter future, took in an estimated $1.67 million during early access showtimes, including $470,000 from Thursday previews. The movie is trending toward an opening weekend box office of between $6 million and $7 million.

The final new weekend release, Roadside Attraction’s Boy Kills World, is projected to sell around $2.9 million in tickets. The movie is distributed by Lionsgate.

Former box office polesitter Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary) is projected to round out the theatrical weekend with $7 million in ticket sales, upping its North American tally past $181 million ($500 million globally) through five weekends.

After two weekends atop the North American box office, the politically charged Civil War looks to drop to No. 4 for the weekend with a projected $6.2 million in ticket sales, upping its North American tally past $50 million, and near $70 million worldwide.

Returning box office titles include Universal Pictures’ horror film Abigail with a projected $4.7 million in ticket sales, upping the movie’s two week tally around $17 million and $22 million globally, and Lionsgate’s Guy Ritchie-directed The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, with a projected $4.1 million in ticket sales to up its two-week total around $15 million.

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Finally, Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 (projected $4 million), Columbia Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire ($3.1 million), and Warner’s Dune: Part Two ($2 million) round out the theatrical slate, with all three titles concurrently available across digital retail channels.

Universal’s Vampire-Themed ‘Abigail’ Looks to Stop ‘Civil War’ at the Weekend Box Office

Universal Pictures’ newest horror movie Abigail, a quasi remake of its 1936 fright film Dracula’s Daughter, appears set to top a slow weekend box office with an estimated $20 million to $25 million in ticket sales, according to new data from BoxOfficePro.com for the weekend ending April 21.

The film stars Alisha Weir in the title role, supported by strong female horror film veterans such as Melissa Barrera (Scream) and Kathryn Newton (Lisa Frankenstein).

The movie’s tally should be enough to supplant previous weekend box office polesitter, A24’s record-generating Civil War, the latter with a projected $10 million to $15 million in second-weekend ticket sales.

Lionsgate’s Guy Ritchie-directed The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, a World War II comedy actioner with an ensemble cast that includes Henry Cavill, Alex Pettyfer, Alan Ritchson, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Henry Golding, is projected to generate upwards of $14 million in ticket sales. Lionsgate is projecting pre-release screening ticket sales of $1.45 million for the film, which received an ‘A-‘ CinemaScore during last weekend’s sneaks.

Abigail reportedly generated around $1 million in standalone Thursday screening revenue.

Finally, Sony Pictures’ Crunchyroll subsidiary’s newest anime release, Spy Code x Family: White, is projected to generate upwards of $7 million to$15 million in ticket sales, which could see the film move up to No. 2 over the weekend, depending on Imax revenue.

Theatrical Data Consultant Narrows 2024 Global Revenue Decline Forecast

The 2024 global box office is projected to reach $32.3 billion in revenue, down about 3% (based on current exchange rates) from revenue of $33.9 billion in 2023, according to revised data from Gower Street Analytics, an industry data firm partnered with Comscore.

In December, Gower had originally projected worldwide theatrical revenue this year of $31.5 billion. The improved forecast, announced ahead of the CinemaCon industry confab through April 11 in Las Vegas, still lags 18% behind the average annual pre-pandemic box office revenue from 2017 through 2019 — the year when Disney alone dominated the market with $11 billion in Marvel-themed ticket sales.

The improved outlook is due to added theatrical releases in the 2024 slate, in addition to a 1% gain in first-quarter (ended March 31) ticket sales in North America and China year-over-year, and an 11% increase in foreign box office revenue, excluding China. Forecast revenue increases include about $200 million in North America and $500 million across foreign screens.

The top-grossing theatrical releases thus far are Warner Bros. Pictures’ Dune: Part Two with $660.6 million in revenue, ahead of Universal Pictures’ Kung Fu Panda 4 with $410.4 million in ticket sales, and Warner’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire with $361 million.

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