There’s a bit from the TV show Angel where the characters bicker for a whole episode about who would win in a fight, astronauts or cavemen. As it turns out, both sides apparently gotta be on the lookout for dinosaurs, because those scaly/feathery bastards are here to eat everybody’s money.
That’s the (admittedly stupid) takeaway from this morning’s early box office reports, with Deadline reporting that Jurassic World: Dominion is apparently set to beat Disney and Pixar’s new space adventure Lightyear across the weekend. That’s despite Dominion having been out in theaters for a week already, and critically reviled, and despite all the work Disney has put in to try to explain the basic premise of its film. (“In 1995, Andy got a toy from his favorite movie. That movie got its ass kicked by Laura Dern.”)
Lightyear is reportedly opening well beneath expectations, projected to bring in somewhere between $51-55 million over the holiday weekend, rather than the $70 or so million Disney was apparently hoping for. Meanwhile, Jurassic is currently steering toward at least $56 million—although either movie could potentially get a boost from the Juneteenth holiday.
As to why this is happening, it’s kind of hard to say: Disney has certainly marketed the hell out of Lightyear, which stars Big Name Movie Man Chris Evans as the “real” take on the character originated by Tim Allen way back when. At least one theory, though, suggests that the last few years, during which Disney tossed multiple Pixar movies on to its streaming service Disney+ as both a subscriber draw, and a way to keep the studio’s output in front of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, might have primed audiences to wait for Pixar films on the small screen—whereas Dominion probably isn’t going to get better once its dinos and Goldblums have all been crammed into your itty-bitty phone.