Box Office: ‘Inside Out 2’ on Fire at Friday Box Office, Now Heading for Joyful 0M-0M U.S. Debut

Box Office: ‘Inside Out 2’ on Fire at Friday Box Office, Now Heading for Joyful $130M-$140M U.S. Debut

Inside Out 2 is on fire at the Friday box office after starting off with a joyful $13 million in Thursday evening previews, well ahead of expectations and putting the movie on course to become the first title of 2024 to clear $100 million in its debut.

In fact, traffic is so strong that the Pixar and Disney title is now expected to open to at least $130 million in North America, one of the top five openings of all time for an animated film, not adjusted for inflation. By Friday night, rival studios were throwing out estimates of $140 million or more, but Disney and Pixar are taking a more circumspect approach until they see a final number of the day (Friday’s haul should be at least $55 million).

Fellow Pixar release Incredibles 2 is the crown-holder for top animated opening ($182.7 million), followed by Illumination and Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($146.4 million), Pixar’s Finding Dory ($135.1 million) and Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen II ($130.3 million).

Inside Out 2‘s preview gross of $13 million is the biggest of the year so far in a needed win for the sluggish box office. The $13 million also eclipsed such animated tentpoles as Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru ($10.8 million) and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 ($12 million). Those two films posted three-day domestic openings of $107 million and $120.9 million, respectively.

Pixar’s animated tentpole is also whipping up excitement overseas, where it began rolling out midweek. Its Wednesday and Thursday haul is an impressive $22.3 million from 31 markets. It’s serving up impressive stats in numerous markets, including ranking as one of the top openings ever for an animated film across much of Latin America. Ditto for some markets in Europe and Asia.

On Thursday, Hollywood’s leading tracking service the National Research Group upped its domestic opening forecast for Inside Out 2 from $85 million to $90 million. Tracking has been notoriously off this year, and especially this summer, so the decision to go out with a higher number was significant.

The forecast has increased even more based on Thursday’s preview number.

Inside Out 2 could be just what the doctor ordered for Pixar, which has endured several years of strife, including when the former Disney regime decided to send a trio of Pixar films straight to streaming.

The movie is earning glowing reviews, and is presently among the five best-rated Pixar films on Rotten Tomatoes with a critics’ score of 93 percent (the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is 95 percent). Directed by Kelsey Mann, the sequel introduces a whole new cast of emotions who are brought into “head”-quarters when the story’s young heroine, Riley, becomes a teenager.

Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust aren’t so sure how to feel about the arrival of Anxiety, Envy, Ennui and Embarrassment. Amy Poehler leads a voice cast that also includes Maya Hawke, Kensington Tallman, Liza Lapira, Tony Hale, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Ayo Edebiri, Lilimar, Grace Lu, Sumayyah Nuriddin-Green, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Paul Walter Hauser and Yvette Nicole Brown.

June 14, 8 p.m. PT: Updated with revised opening estimates.