‘Inside Out 2’ scores $100M in record-setting second weekend

CAPTIONINSIDEOUT: “Inside Out 2” has become the biggest hit of the summer so far. (Disney / Pixar via AP)

NEW YORK —According to studio estimates on Sunday, the Pixar sequel “Inside Out 2” collected $100 million in ticket sales in its second weekend, setting a new record for an animated movie in its follow-up frame in theaters. The previous best second weekend for an animated title was the $92 million for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” Only six movies have ever had better second weekends.

In just a week and a half, “Inside Out 2” has become this year’s highest-grossing film, raking in $724.4 million globally, including $355.2 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters. That passes the $711.8 million worldwide total of “Dune: Part Two.” “Inside Out 2” is on course to blow through the $1 billion mark in about a week, making it the first film since “Barbie” to do so.

The extent of the “Inside Out 2” success took Hollywood entirely by surprise — it had grown accustomed to much lower expectations as the film industry watched ticket sales this year slump about 40% below pre-pandemic totals, according to data firm Comscore before “Inside Out 2” came along.

The record haul for “Inside Out 2,” though, recalled past years when $1 billion grosses were more commonplace for the Walt Disney Co. It is also a much-needed blockbuster release for Pixar, which, after experimenting with direct-to-streaming releases, reconsidered its movie pipeline and approach to mass-audience appeal.

Now, “Inside Out 2,” which dipped a mere 35% from its $154 million domestic debut, is poised to challenge “The Incredibles 2” ($1.2 billion) for the all-time top-grossing Pixar release. It could also steer the venerated animation factory toward more sequels in the future. Among its upcoming films is “Toy Story 5,” due out in 2026.

For theater and multipleplex cinema owners, “Inside Out 2” could hardly have been more needed. But it also reminded exhibitors of how feast-or-famine the movie business has become in recent years. Since the pandemic, movies like “Barbie,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Top Gun: Maverick” have pushed ticket sales to record heights, but fallow periods in between box-office sensations have grown longer. Dismal ticket sales over Memorial Day last month were the worst in three decades.

Some of 2024’s downturn can be attributed to release-schedule juggling caused by last year’s writers and actors strikes. The most significant new release over the weekend was Jeff Nichols’ motorcycle gang drama “The Bikeriders,” originally slated to open in 2023 before the actors’ strike prompted its postponement.

“The Bikeriders,” starring Jodie Comer, Austin Butler and Tom Hardy, came in on the high side of expectations with $10 million from 2,642 venues in its opening weekend. “The Bikeriders,” which cost about $35 million to produce, was originally to be released by Disney before New Regency took it to Focus Features last fall.

The vital business for “Inside Out 2” appeared to raise ticket sales generally. Sony Pictures’ “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” held well in its third week of release, collecting $18.8 million. It remained in second place. The “Bad Boys” sequel, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, has grossed $146.9 million domestically thus far.

Next week, the sci-fi horror prequel “A Quiet Place: Day One” and Kevin Costner’s Western epic “Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1” will hope some of the “Inside Out 2” success rubs off on them.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore.

1. “Inside Out 2,” $100 million.

2. “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” $18.8 million.

3. “The Bikeriders,” $10 million.

4. “The Garfield Movie, $3.6 million.

5. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” $3.6 million.

6. “If,” $2.8 million.

7. “The Exorcism,” $2.4 million.

8. “Thelma,” $2.2 million.

9. “The Watchers,” $1.9 million.

10. “Ghost: Rite Here Rite Now,” $1.5 million.