Pixar boss discusses reasons behind Lightyear flopping
Pixar recently had a rare box-office flop when it released Toy Story spin-off Lightyear in 2022.
Despite an all-star cast, a cute sidekick, and good reviews, the movie only made $226 million worldwide against a $200 million production budget.
Pixar’s CCO Pete Docter explained why the animation struggled to find its audience.
"We've done a lot of soul-searching about that because we all love the movie," he said to TheWrap. "We love the characters and the premise. I think probably what we’ve ended on in terms of what went wrong is that we asked too much of the audience.
"When they hear Buzz, they’re like, 'Great, where’s Mr. Potato Head and Woody and Rex?' And then we drop them into this science fiction film that they’re like, 'What?'"
He continued: "Even if they’ve read the material in press, it was just a little too distant, both in concept and I think in the way that characters were drawn, that they were portrayed. It was much more of a science fiction.
"And Angus [MacLane, director], to his credit, took it very seriously and genuinely and wanted to represent those characters as real characters.
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"But the characters in Toy Story are much broader, and so I think there was a disconnect between what people wanted/expected and what we were giving to them."
The film showed the origin of Buzz Lightyear, a legendary Space Ranger who was later made into the toy we all know and love. In its marketing, the film was described as the movie that Andy would have seen that got him obsessed with Buzz Lightyear.
Although it would have been released in the world of Toy Story, the events of Lightyear had no connection to the film series.
Lightyear is available to watch on Disney+ now.
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