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'Toy Story 4' missed expectations, but 'any other studio would be thrilled'

Tracey Marx Bernstein
Senior Producer

Disney’s [DIS] “Toy Story 4” brought in an estimated $118 million domestically during its opening weekend — short of Disney's $140 million projection — and about $238 million globally.

That is technically a disappointment, but that’s still pretty good on a $200 million budget.

“They have set such a [high] bar for themselves,” Variety Reporter Rebecca Rubin said on Yahoo Finance’s YFi AM live show, “but that’s a number that any other studio would be thrilled to have in their opening weekend.”

Rubin notes that fans of the franchise may have been worried if the storyline could deliver.

“I think audiences were a little skeptical, is this just another cash grab?” says Rubin. “Is it actually a worthy sequel? So I think that might be where the difference in the actual numbers versus the projection came in because audiences were a little concerned.”

(screenshot: "Toy Story 4")

‘Pixar has been a big source of’ new Disney ideas

“Toy Story 4” is the third-biggest domestic opening weekend for Disney this year, following “Avengers: Endgame” ($357.1M) and “Captain Marvel” ($153.4M). And those are the only three films in 2019 so far to break $100 million on their opening weekends.

“Disney has had pretty consistent success with the well that they are pulling from,” says Rubin. “They have struggled a little bit with new material that is not from a pre-existing franchise, or Pixar, or Marvel, and so that’s a little bit of where they might be struggling moving forward.”

“Avengers: Endgame” was the culmination of the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the forthcoming “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will end the Skywalker saga. “These are two huge properties where they are going to need to take a look at their slate and say, Are we going to keep dipping from this well again, or is there new material we can find?” Rubin says. “And Pixar has been a big source of that, and they do have original [Pixar] movies coming out next year.”

“Toy Story 4’” is also one of the first movies Disney will put on its Disney+ OTT streaming service, set to launch in November, along with “Captain Marvel” and “The Lion King.”

Tracey Marx Bernstein is a senior producer for Yahoo Finance.

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