Lightyear Is a Box-Office Dud, but It's Ideally positioned to be the Next Disney+ Hit

Lightyear Is a Box-Office Dud, but It's Ideally positioned to be the Next Disney+ Hit ...

Lightyear opened to $50.58 million last weekend in the United States and Canada, despite forecasting (already low) levels. (It increased by $12.43 million over the last week.) However, Buzz is on course to reap the rewards from those who were among them.

Google Trends revealed some higher searches for When will Lightyear be on Disney+ than Lightyear movie times. By comparison, searches for Encanto peaked December 26, two days after it landed on Disney+. Parents (and other nostalgic adults) are already ready for the Toy Story origin story to be released on their home TVs.

Turning Red, a largely influenced Disney+ in March, but the Pixar title came to an end after a long box-office recovery. The company employs 137.7 million worldwide subscribers, and 44.4 million of them are in the United States and Canada.

Eternals'' $71.3 million domestic opening aired in November and hit Disney+ two months later, putting Encanto''s $27.2 million opening weekend in November in comparison. By now we know that theatrical performance does not solely determine a film success or failure.

It was the Disney+ release, 30 days after its theatrical debut, that allowed Encanto to rise to the status of a cultural touchstone. The original song We Dont Talk About Bruno quickly rose to No. 1, which was quickly ranked for five weeks in the top spot, and for five months on the chart. Dos Oruguitas earned a Best Original Song Oscar nomination; both songs were performed during the ceremony.


Encanto''s popularity has come to an end thanks to Nielsen''s ratings. With a total of 20.09 billion minutes streamed between December 27 and May 22, it was among the ten most popular films across all major services in all 21 of those weeks. Turning Red was by far the most popular movie on Disney+ throughout that time. It''s worth nothing that Turning Red was released almost three months after Encanto, which helps explain some but not all of the vast chast of streaming minutes.

With a 72 percent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Turning Red achieved that feat. Lightyear is currently at 85 percent, which suggests it may be even better-received by the casual Disney+ audience. (Encanto is 93 percent with the audience.)

Nielsen data from this period suggests that Disney''s most popular animated films may benefit from live-action titles, such as Marvel films. Moana, which was first released in theaters in 2016 and on Disney+ since November 2019, was the third-most popular Disney+ film during the measured 21-week period. It was roughly 60 percent more popular than the number five film Eternals, which was released on Disney+ January 12.

Parents may expect to play the movie for their children once a title hits Disney+, but the box office may suffer, although the possibility of limiting Disney+ churn and feeding the ever-important IP beast is evident.

We hope that if the film does not, we may return for family movies, but we know that we were extremely secure in being able to use our own Disney+ platform, according to CEO Bob Chapek in February.

So how long will families wait for Lightyear to be available on Disney+? The studio hasn''t announced a date for the streaming debut, but a 45-day window would place Lightyear on Disney+ and PVOD in early August; anything earlier would infuriate theater owners. That''s when it''s best to see if Buzz is really capable.