Disney continues to build movies this summer, and audiences continue to come. Industry sources –not Disney– inform us that Pixar’s Toy Story 4 is clocking around $12M tonight, which will make it the second best preview night for an animated pic after the record $18.5M notched by Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 last year.
Tonight’s estimated ticket sales for Toy Story 4 are 3x that of Toy Story 3‘s preview night ($4M) back on June 17, 2010 and that was off midnight showtimes.
Toy Story 4 kicked off at select 5PM fan events at 22 theaters tonight with the series’ four titles, followed by a 6PM nationwide break. Tomorrow, Toy Story 4 will play at 4,575 theaters, the second widest release ever after Avengers: Endgame which played at 4,662 theaters.
Will Toy Story 4 overindex up to a $200M opening weekend or stay around the $160M range? Will the lack of a Father’s Day Sunday slow it down? Both Incredibles 2 and 2016’s Finding Dory had the benefit of that holiday boost.
Last year, Incredible 2‘s Thursday night repped 26% of its all-time opening day animated pic record of $71.2M which continued on to become the best animation pic domestic opening of all-time with $182.6M. Prior to Incredibles 2, Pixar’s Finding Dory owned the best domestic debut for animated pic with $135M. That pic’s $9.2M Thursday represented 17% of its $54.7M opening day. If we split the difference of that Thursday night percent range then that means tonight will account for 21.5% of Toy Story 4‘s Friday total or $55.8M.
For many weeks, there’s been several signs pointing to Toy Story 4‘s great success: the Josh Cooley-directed fourthquel already owns a 98% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while the pic scored the best first day presales ever (May 28) for an animated movie on both Fandango and Atom Tickets, outselling Incredibles 2. Also, Toy Story 4 set a record on Atom for best pre-sales of all time for a Disney animated movie, outstripping Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Also, Toy Story 4 outsold the pre-sales of Disney’s live-action hit Aladdin.