The opening weekend of “Incredibles 2” was, well, incredible.
The Disney-Pixar movie flew to a record-breaking launch of $180 million in 4,410 locations, easily landing the superhero sequel the best debut of all time for an animated film. That title was previously held by fellow Pixar sequel “Finding Dory,” which bowed with $135 million in 2016. “Incredibles 2” also landed the eighth-biggest domestic opening of all time, and surpassed 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast” ($174.6 million) for the best debut for a PG-rated film.
Pixar’s 20th film easily won the weekend over new titles “Tag” and “Superfly,” which premiered with $14.6 million and $8.4 million respectively. However, those releases weren’t enough to grab the No. 2 spot from “Ocean’s 8’s” $19.5 million second weekend.
Overseas, “Incredibles 2” collected $51.5 million, where it has opened in 26% of the international market, for a worldwide start of $231.5 million.
Its predecessor, “The Incredibles,” opened in 2004 with $70.5 million, the second-largest opening at the time for an animated feature. It went on to win the Oscar for best animated film and earn $633 million worldwide.
With 14 years since the original film, enthusiasm has been strong for the follow-up, and it seems that audiences and critics alike were not disappointed. The movie boasts a coveted A+ CinemaScore, as well as a 94% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The film shows the drawing power of the superhero genre, whether in the live action or animated realm,” box office analyst Paul Dergarbedian said. “The combination of the Pixar brand and Disney’s perfectly executed marketing and distribution strategy made the film an instant classic and a box office juggernaut.”
Disney’s head of distribution, Cathleen Taff, attributes the massive opening to pent-up demand for another “Incredibles” film, along with positive word of mouth. It also helps that it’s been a while since a family film has hit multiplexes, she added.
“We’re so thrilled,” Taff said. “Brad [Bird] and team put together a great film that delivers something for everybody. It was the perfect storm.”
“Incredibles 2” picks up directly following the events of the original film with the Parr family members attempting to balance having a normal life with their superpowers. Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their voice roles, while Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, and Sophia Bush voice new characters. Brad Bird returned to write and direct the sequel.
“Incredibles 2” should set Disney back on track after “Solo: A Star Wars Story” disappointed earlier this summer. The expensive “Star Wars” film has had difficulty gaining traction at the box office since launching with $103 million over a four day weekend. Though every previous Disney-released “Star Wars” adventure has managed to fly past the $1 billion mark, “Solo” is struggling to cross $400 million.
Disney doesn’t exactly need to break a sweat, however. “Incredibles 2” scored the third biggest opening of 2018, meaning the three best debuts of 2018 all belong to the Magic Kingdom. Disney-Marvel titles “Black Panther” ($202 million) and “Avengers: Infinity War” ($257.7 million) hold the No. 1 and 2 spots.
Another weekend opener, Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Tag,” debuted with $14.6 million in 3,382 theaters. The R-rated comedy — starring Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner — is based on a Wall Street Journal article about a group of grown men who play a longstanding game of tag.
Those over the age of 25 accounted for 78% of audiences, with an even male-female split, while 58% were under 35 years old. Attendees seem satisfied, giving the film a B+ CinemaScore and 74% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
New Line’s “Game Night,” opened earlier this year targeting a similar audience. The film, which had a production budget of $16 million, launched with $17 million. As of this week, the Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams’ dark comedy has pocketed $117 million globally, including $69 million domestically.
The final wide release, “Superfly,” got a head start by opening on Wednesday. Sony’s remake of 1972 blaxploitation classic “Super Fly” pocketed $8.4 million in 2,220 locations during the five-day period. Well-known music video helmer Director X took the reins on the $16 million project, which only began production in January and finished in time for its June release.
The film features all new songs written by rapper Future, who co-produced along with Joel Silver. “Superfly” stars Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams, Lex Scott Davis, and Jennifer Morrison.
The original 1972 “Super Fly,” starring Ron O’Neal and directed by Gordon Parks, was hugely profitable at the box office with a $30 million gross from a $500,000 budget. While the film became a cult hit, its soundtrack composed by R&B legend Curtis Mayfield became even more popular and ultimately outgrossed “Super Fly’s” box office earnings.
“Ocean’s 8” managed to steal the No. 2 spot in its sophomore frame, picking up another $19.5 million in 4,145 locations. The female-fronted heist spinoff had a series-best opening last weekend with $41.5 million. Overseas, the Warner Bros. film secured $19.3 million this weekend, bringing its international tally to $37.1 million. In total, “Ocean’s 8” has earned $116 million globally, with $79 million coming from the domestic box office.
In fourth is “Solo: A Star Wars Story” with $9.3 million on 3,182 screens. In four weeks, the tentpole has made $193 million at the domestic box office. Its global total sits at $339.5 million, including $5.2 million from international markets this weekend.
Rounding out the top five is the R-rated superhero sequel “Deadpool 2,” which scored $8.6 million in its fifth outing. To date, 20th Century Fox’s blockbuster starring Ryan Reynolds has amassed $294.5 million domestically.
At the specialty box office, “Gotti” disappointed with $1.6 million in 503 locations. John Travolta and Kelly Preston star in the mobster movie, directed by “Entourage” star Kevin Connolly. The film, which had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, was originally intended to be released by Lionsgate in 2017, but the studio sold it back to its producers two weeks before. Vertical Entertainment and Sunrider Productions are now co-distributing along with movie ticketing service MoviePass Ventures.
Meanwhile, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s documentary is having a heroic moment of its own. Magnolia and Participant Media’s “RBG” crossed the $10 million mark in just seven weeks.
Finally, Morgan Neville’s Mister Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” brought in $985,000 when it expanded to 96 theaters. The biopic, which holds an impressive 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has picked up $1.7 million in two weeks. Next week, it will expand to over 300 theaters.
The weekend box office is up 37.6% compared to this weekend last year when another Disney-Pixar title, “Cars 3,” opened with $53.6 million. Meanwhile, the year to date box office is up 5.9%, thanks in part to the stunning successes of “Incredibles 2,” Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Black Panther,” according to comScore.