Lightyear underperformed in its opening weekend at the box office. This is surprising considering Pixar’s track record of animated movies that usually perform well. From sequels to original, acclaimed movies, Pixar has a reputation for creating quality films that also bring in box office success.
Pixar has plenty of Academy Awards to its name, but also billions of dollars. While it certainly has duds here and there, Pixar is one of the most successful animation studios of all time.
Here are the 5 most successful Pixar movies at the box office
5. Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo is the only non-sequel to appear on this list. The Pixar film grossed $380 million domestically and $936 million total at the worldwide box office, according to thenumbers.com. Finding Nemo centers around the clownfish family of Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould). After Nemo is taken, Marlin goes on a journey across the ocean to find his son with the help of Dory (Ellen Degeneres)
Finding Nemo excelled at the box office due to its incredible word-of-mouth. It’s a heartwarming story that is not only creative in its concept but provides an important message for both kids and parents. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive and it is still regarded as one of Pixar’s finest achievements.
4. Finding Dory
Finding Dory brings viewers back to the ocean with the characters from the first movie. This time, Dory is looking for her parents and ends up stuck in an aquarium. New additions to the cast include Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Kaitlin Olson, and Idris Elba.
While reviews for Finding Dory were not as good as the first, fans were eagerly awaiting this sequel and the box office returns proved it. This Pixar sequel made $486 million domestically and $1.03 billion at the worldwide box office. A Finding Nemo 3 has not been confirmed, but the box office shows that there is an audience who would go see it.
3. Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 continued the story of Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and the rest of the Toy Story crew. Andy is headed to college and has essentially stopped playing with their toys. After accidentally being donated to a daycare service, the toys must decide between a new life of being played with by kids or remaining loyal to Andy.
Toy Story 3 received incredible reviews, but either way many wanted to go see these characters after an 11-year gap between Toy Story 2. The movie made $415 million domestically and a total worldwide gross of $1.068 billion. This gigantic success eventually led to the green light of Toy Story 4.
2. Toy Story 4
Toy Story 3 was a perfect ending to this franchise, so many were skeptical of Toy Story 4. However, that didn’t stop them from going to see this movie. Fortunately, Toy Story 4 is a worthy addition to this franchise that remains almost perfect. This chapter sees Woody reuniting with Bo Peep (Annie Potts) and a whole new cast of characters like Duke Kaboom (Keanu Reeves), Forky (Tony Hale), Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key), and Bunny (Jordan Peele).
Toy Story 4 made $434 million domestically and a total worldwide gross of $1.073 billion. Pixar definitely wanted to bank on the popularity of Toy Story with Lightyear, but that may not be the case.
1. Incredibles 2
No Pixar sequel was more anticipated than this follow-up to the 2004 superhero film. Incredibles 2 is the next chapter of the Parr family that lets Elastigirl (Helen Hunt) take center stage. At home, Bob (Craig T. Nelson) is trying to figure out how to control their baby, Jack-Jack, who recently developed a series of superpowers.
Incredibles 2 is the most successful movie Pixar has made so far. At the box office, Incredibles 2 $608 million domestically and an international total of $1.2 billion. It’s possible that this box office success for Pixar can never be topped, unless Pixar wants to pull the trigger on an Incredibles 3.