Hollywood is in love with franchises, and the public enjoys them too.
When it comes to entertainment industry product, franchises oftentimes provide a safe harbor for execs in the risky day-to-day struggle to come up with new projects.
Hard to believe, but a major Disney franchise recently went down in flames. It’s the latest in the “Toy Story” series.
Yes, “Lightyear,” Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story” spin-off is a dud.
The movie tanked at the box office, taking in only $50 million domestically in its first week. And the following week it took a 65 percent dive, earning less than $18 million.
With a production budget of $200 million, and an additional $100 million or so in marketing costs, Disney is likely looking at a significant loss, despite the fact that the film was thought to be a sure shot.
Franchise power, in the conventional sense, was shown in the box-office performance of prior sequel “Toy Story 4,” which took in a haul of $120 million in its first week.
Moviegoers definitely didn’t show the same love for “Lightyear.”
There are two major reasons for the film’s apparent failure.
1. If you want to draw “Toy Story” franchise fans, it’s not a good idea to ditch the guy who made Buzz Lightyear famous in all four previous “Toy Story” flicks.
That’s right. The filmmakers left actor Tim Allen out of the project, despite the fact that Allen’s voice is what madeBuzz buzz.
A lot of excuses have been given as to why Allen was cut out.
Claims were made that Allen’s voice was the film-version voice of a toy, and the voice of “Captain America” actor Chris Evans is the film-version voice of a supposed living, breathing, real-life Buzz.
However, plenty of folks sense that politics are at play. That’s because fans of Allen’s successful “Last Man Standing” sitcom remember all too well that Disney-owned ABC inexplicably canceled the show at a time when it was still popular with the public.
“Lightyear”’s Evans-for-Allen swap prompted a number of celebrities to take to social media and express their chagrin over the decision.
– “Everybody Loves Raymond” star Patricia Heaton used her Twitter account to post, “Disney/Pixar made a HUGE mistake in not casting my pal Tim Allen. Tim Allen in the role that he originated, the role that he owns. Tim IS Buzz! Why would they completely castrate this iconic, beloved character?”
– Tom Hanks, who voiced Buzz Lightyear’s sidekick Woody in previous films, entered the fray via a CinemaBlend interview that was posted on the publication’s Instagram account. The actor discussed how his film “Elvis” hit theaters at the same time as “Lightyear.”
“I actually wanted to go head-to-head with Tim Allen and then they didn’t let Tim Allen do it,” Hanks said. “I don’t understand that.”
Allen revealed that quite a while back he had been in on discussions about the “Lightyear” concept, but the new spin-off didn’t have the same filmmakers involved as the original.
“We talked about this many years ago,” Allen said, and he remarked at the time, “What a fun movie that would be.”
He explained, “But the brass that did the first four movies is not [the same one]… this is a whole new team that had nothing to do with the first movies.”
2) A big reason for “Lightyear”’s tepid response is the unmistakable woke-influence. Inserted in an animated movie for children is a same-sex kiss.
The scene has resulted in “Lightyear” being banned in many locales that have typically welcomed Disney films, including the countries of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
It seems as though Disney has been on a self-destructive course. There have been a series of decisions that have led the public to believe that the company wants to shed its family-friendly brand.
Guess we can just chalk it up to one more thing we thought we’d never see –Mickey’s smile turned upside down.