Mid-June’s box office is about to heat up again with one of the most anticipated animated sequels of all time making its debut over Father’s Day weekend.
Opening Weekend Range: $136 – 165 million
Domestic Total Range: $450 – 540 million
Pre-release tracking for the long awaited sequel continues to impress as the first animated event of summer is drawing strong interest from all four quadrants and blowing up across social media. After weeks of comparatively lower-to-similar numbers, the film’s Twitter footprint is suddenly far outpacing those of Finding Dory and Minions this week, generating a consistent number of daily mentions typically only seen by the likes of Marvel and Star Wars films.
Additionally, Incredibles 2‘s stellar reviews are driving excitement even higher as the film brings out nostalgic fans who grew up on the beloved 2004 original while appealing to today’s own younger audiences.
The timing of its release couldn’t be more auspicious as the golden era of comic book and superhero films has taken hold during the Pixar family’s 14-year cinematic absence — an element we previously discussed as possibly elevating upfront demand above the levels other animated sequels. Opening in time for Father’s Day on Sunday should provide another box office benefit with family audiences turning out in droves throughout the weekend. Fandango recently reported that Brad Bird’s highly anticipated follow-up is on pace to top Finding Dory as the company’s best pre-selling animated title in company history.
The usual caveats are still present: all forms of tracking can be more challenging to read for a film boasting this level of buzz, hence our wide range. The animated medium is particularly known to be less front-loaded than live action films, which can skew opening weekend tracking and often inflate expectations. Toy Story 3, for example, slightly over-tracked ahead of its Father’s Day weekend release eight years ago after debuting a few weeks later than Shrek Forever After — only to post spectacular staying power throughout the summer.
That being said, animated releases have a recent history of over-performing at the box office instead of the alternative.
Simply put, there are too many factors in this film’s favor not to expect an animated record opening at this point. Finding Dory‘s $135.06 million is the current standard-bearer, while inflation-adjusted trophies belong to Shrek the Third ($161.9 million) and Shrek 2 ($159.4 million) ahead of Dory‘s own 2018-adjusted figure ($141.7 million).
Our models suggest Incredibles 2 could potentially even best Spider-Man 3‘s $151.1 million non-adjusted debut to become the biggest weekend ever by a superhero film not starring Batman or Marvel Cinematic Universe characters.
Disney’s official projection is in the $120 – 140 million range. We’ll see how the weekend plays out, but it’s going to be a big one no matter how you slice it.
Opening Weekend Range: $6 – 9 million (3-day)
Counter-programming as a hyper-targeted release, expectations are modest at this stage. Sony projects a $10 – 12 million five-day opening, which would be a solid showing considering the relatively frugal $16 million production budget. Social media trends are currently trailing those of Dope.
Opening Weekend Range: $12 – 17 million
Opening over Father’s Day weekend and boasting an ensemble of popular male leads could help this beat expectations, but current trends suggest it may fall a bit shy of the debuts posted by Game Night and Blockers earlier this year,. Facebook activity trails that of The House, while the standing review embargo as of Wednesday afternoon further quiets expectations. The comedy’s strength could come from adult males without kids and lacking interest in Pixar’s opener, though. No projections from the studio were made available at the time of our publishing.
Top 10 Notes and Comps
Father’s Day weekend should treat male-driven films like Solo: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool 2, and Avengers: Infinity War well. The first and latter of that trio could additionally benefit from double features with each other and/or Incredibles 2, a common strategy for Disney that makes weekend forecasts more volatile for these titles.
Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will earn $220 million or more. That would mark at least a 23 percent improvement from the same weekend last year, which saw Pixar’s Cars 3 debut to $53.7 million as part of an overall $178.9 million Father’s Day weekend.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, June 17||% Change from Last Wknd|
|Incredibles 2||Disney / Pixar||$152,000,000||$152,000,000||NEW|
|Ocean’s 8||Warner Bros.||$22,000,000||$81,900,000||-47%|
|Solo: A Star Wars Story||Disney / Lucasfilm||$9,800,000||$193,700,000||-38%|
|Superfly||Sony / Columbia||$7,000,000||$10,000,000||NEW|
|Avengers: Infinity War||Disney / Marvel||$4,700,000||$663,900,000||-35%|