Pixar may find joy as ‘Inside Out 2’ breaks the studio’s record


Pixar likely felt some joy on Wednesday as “Inside Out 2” became the animation studio’s biggest film of all-time globally, surpassing the 2018 juggernaut “Incredibles 2” to snag the record.

The new film, which opened over the June 14 weekend, crossed $1.251 billion in global ticket sales as of Tuesday, according to multiple reports. That total dethroned “Incredibles 2,” which held the record for the studio at $1.243 billion, based on numbers not adjusted for inflation.

Now, “Inside Out 2” has its eyes on another record — highest-grossing animated film of all time. It currently sits behind Disney’s original “Frozen” film ($1.285 billion), Illumination and Universal’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($1.361 billion) and Disney’s “Frozen II” ($1.453 billion).

The film could surpass “Frozen” and “Super Mario,” though it’s unclear whether it will claim the crown. The film has earned $48 million in South Korea, which may be a sign of how it will perform in Japan, where it has not opened yet, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Inside Out 2,” a sequel to the 2015 film about a young girl named Riley and her emotions, who are seen as characters who help shape her decisions, saw a $155 million domestic opening weekend, exceeding expectations. After two weekends, it became the highest-grossing film of 2024 globally, according to Disney.

Pixar’s latest hit isn’t the only animated film to find success at the cinema this summer. Universal and Illumination’s “Despicable Me 4″ has earned more than $240 million since it opened on June 30, signaling yet another family-friendly picture to capture audiences. Both were released during the summer school break and as sweltering temperatures continue to boil parts of the country.

“Inside Out 2” has been a hit with critics. The film currently boasts a 91 percent score from critics and 96 percent from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes and an “A” on CinemaScore, which calculates scores based on viewer reactions to movies soon after release. The movie has continued to raise discussions about how people handle their emotions, what it’s like for teens to experience puberty and anxiety, and how adults handle such emotions as sadness, joy and nostalgia (all of which become characters in the film).

The deep run by “Inside Out 2” is welcome news for Pixar, which has been on a losing streak with its box office releases. In 2020, “Onward” struggled to gain footing as theaters shut down amid the pandemic. Pixar’s “Elemental,” which hit theaters in 2023, was one of the lowest box office openings of all time for the company (though it recovered slightly over time). “Lightyear,” a spinoff to the “Toy Story” franchise, failed to impress critics, too.

Pixar has been teasing a renewed focus on successful franchises for its comeback tour. In June, the company’s president, Jim Morris, told Bloomberg that “Inside Out 2” would be a good test run to see if storied franchises have a place in Pixar’s arsenal moving forward. That said, the studio’s next film, scheduled for 2025, is “Elio,” an original movie about a boy who becomes an ambassador for Earth.



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