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Toy-Themed Sequels Collide as “Annabelle” Challenges “Toy Story 4”

The box office has been on a spectacular streak of different chart toppers over the last two months with “Toy Story 4” becoming the seventh consecutive different film to hold the crown. But that was the film’s debut weekend. This past weekend was the real test to see if that record could extend and the animated sequel did have to stave off some significant competition. “Annabelle Comes Home”, the third entry in the “Annabelle” series and the latest film in the Conjuring Universe looked to challenge not only “Toy Story 4” but the increasingly concerning sequel slump of summer 2019 which even hurt Pixar’s animated offering last weekend despite a $118 million debut. Joining “Annabelle” as competition for “Toy Story 4” was “Yesterday”, a high concept film focusing on a world without the music of The Beatles. Were either of these newcomers able to topple Pixar at the box office? Let’s find out in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.

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As expected, Pixar did hold the crown for a second weekend with “Toy Story 4” ending the 2019 record of consecutive different chart-toppers at seven, the longest streak since 2014. “Toy Story 4” took in nearly $58 million in its sophomore weekend of release bringing its domestic total to $236.9 million. That’s enough to catapult “Toy Story 4” into the top five highest grossing domestic releases of 2019 so far. Combined with overseas totals, that brings the film to around $496 million worldwide after ten days on the big screen. While several blockbusters will challenge “Toy Story 4” for the crown in the next month, the next animated film on the release slate is “Angry Birds 2” in August giving Pixar’s sequel the entire summer to increase its take although it will face some family-friendly competition from Disney itself as “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and the live-action “Lion King” will both release during that time span.

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Coming home in second is “Annabelle Comes Home” (see what I did there) the seventh films in The Conjuring Universe and third “Annabelle” film as well as the second Conjuring Universe movie of 2019 after “The Curse of La Llorona” marking the first time the series has released two entries in the same calendar year. “Annabelle’s” weekend take is a bit misleading. The film actually debuted on Tuesday, June 25 for early viewings and went wide the next day in order to offset competition from “Spider-Man: Far from Home” and “Midsommar” which are both releasing similarly early this week for the 4th of July weekend. “Annabelle Comes Home” earned $20.3 million over the weekend placing it behind “Toy Story 4” but it truly earned $31 million domestically in its almost week-long debut. The horror sequel also took in $45 million overseas for a total global debut of $76 million.  Comparatively, even with the numbers from pre-Friday showings “Annabelle Comes Home” is the lowest debut for the trilogy so far, which has seen decreasing numbers in the first weekend with every new film. The first “Annabelle” earned a $37 million debut in October of 2014 while “Annabelle: Creation” earned $35 million in its opening in August of 2017. Chalk this up as yet another sequel that failed to shine as brightly as expected in its opening, although the film’s minuscule $27 million budget shows it will likely make a profit all the same. However, with new horror offerings like “Midsommar” and Crawl” on the way it’s anyone’s guess how well “Annabelle” will hold up. You can read my review of “Annabelle Comes Home” here.

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The other new entry on the chart is “Yesterday” which came home third with a $17 million debut. A fantasy musical comedy about a struggling singer who finds himself the only one who remembers the music of the Beatles and uses that knowledge to find success in the industry managed to earn respectable audience reactions while critics were more mixed on the final result. Globally “Yesterday” earned around $25 million, matching its budget, so it will need to depend on holdover success to make a true profit. You can read my review of “Yesterday” by clicking here. Rounding out the top five are Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin”, now at over $305 million domestically and still in the top five after six weeks, and “The Secret Life of Pets 2” which stays put in its fifth-place position from last week. “Men in Black International” falls out of the top five to sixth while “Avengers: Endgame” storms back into the top ten at seventh place thanks to a rerelease in over 2,000 theaters featuring deleted scenes and other new features in an attempt to break the worldwide box office record of “Avatar”. However, it seems the Avengers may have found an alien force they really can’t defeat as Marvel’s superhero magnum opus still sits $26 million behind “Avatar” with only a handful of weeks left to drum up enough support to claim the worldwide box office crown. Rounding out the top ten were “Child’s Play”, which suffered a massive drop from second place last week, “Rocketman”, and “John Wick: Chapter 3”. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”, “Dark Phoenix” and “Anna” were all ejected from the top ten.

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This coming week being 4th of July week the box office race starts early with “Spider-Man: Far from Home” releasing TOMORROW and is sure to be the winner this time next week. While it’s a given that the 23rd entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the direct follow-up to the events of “Endgame” will win the weekend, there’s no telling by how much and if it will be able to escape the sequel slump of the 2019 summer season. It will be challenged by a more original film, the arthouse horror offering “Midsommar”, from filmmaker Ari Aster who brought one of 2018’s most respected films, “Hereditary”, to the big screen. We will see where everything lands this time next week. You can look for my reviews of “Spider-Man: Far from Home” and “Midsommar” coming to you a little early this week as I will be taking the weekend off to enjoy a much-deserved vacation. Stay tuned!

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