Woody and Buzz Lightyear are back with a new mission: reinvigorating a summer box office in a bit of a slump.
Walt Disney Co.'s latest "Toy Story" sequel is expected to generate $150 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters this weekend, marking the second-biggest debut for an animated film. It represents a much-needed boost for the industry, which has suffered a string of underwhelming sequels in recent weeks. That's included the X-Men bomb "Dark Phoenix" and the disappointing "Godzilla" and "The Secret Life of Pets 2."
Audiences aren't tired of sequels, just poorly made ones, said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro. "Toy Story 4," in contrast, has been almost universally praised by critics and -- after nearly a quarter-century -- the franchise has generations of fans.
Disney hasn't been immune to sequel fatigue this summer. It acquired "Dark Phoenix" in its $71 billion megadeal with 21st Century Fox earlier this year and failed to turn the movie into a hit. But overall, it will continue dominating the box office.