Pixar boss explains why Lightyear bombed at the box office
Pixar chief Pete Docter has opened up on the failure of Lightyear at the box office.
Last year saw the release of Lightyear, which focuses on Buzz Lightyear's time as a Space Ranger, rather than as the toy we all know and love from the Toy Story franchise. Chris Evans voiced Buzz, replacing Tim Allen.
Though it received mostly positive reviews from critics, it was a box office bomb. On a budget of $200 million, it made just $226m in theatres and that was before marketing and distribution costs were taken into account.
Docter, who is now the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar, believes the movie was too much of a deviation from the Toy Story series, and audiences didn't respond.
“We’ve done a lot of soul-searching about that because we all love the movie," he told The Wrap.
"We love the characters and the premise. I think probably what we’ve ended on in terms of what went wrong is that we asked too much of the audience. When they hear Buzz, they’re like, 'great, where’s Mr. Potato Head and Woody and Rex?' And then we drop them into this science fiction film that they’re like, 'What?'
"Even if they’ve read the material in press, it was just a little too distant, both in concept, and I think in the way that characters were drawn, that they were portrayed. It was much more of a science fiction. And Angus, to his credit, took it very seriously and genuinely and wanted to represent those characters as real characters. But the characters in Toy Story are much broader, and so I think there was a disconnect between what people wanted/expected and what we were giving to them.”
Toy Story 5 announced
Disney has confirmed that sequels in the Toy Story, Frozen and Zootopia franchises will be produced.
In a recent call with Disney investors, CEO Bob Iger said: "I'm so pleased to announce that we have sequels in the works from our animation studios to some of our most popular franchises - Toy Story, Frozen and Zootopia.
"We’ll have more to share about these productions soon, but this is a great example of how we’re leaning into our unrivalled brands and franchises."
Tim Allen and Tom Hanks have received acclaim for their voice performances as Buzz Lightyear and Woody and it seems the former has already confirmed their involvement in Toy Story 5, as he wrote on Twitter:
"See ya soon Woody, you are a sad strange little man and you have my pity. And off we go to a number 5! To infinity and beyond!"
Animation / Scifi
2022 • 100 minutes