Toy Story spinoff Lightyear debuted to a box office total of $51 million over its three-day opening, well below expectations.
“What the hell happened here?” Deadline asked about the disappointing opening weekend for the film.
Do they not know?
As Lightyear bombed in theaters over the weekend, Top Gun: Maverick topped $800 million worldwide. In case Disney and Deadline have yet to notice, Americans still like movies. They just don’t like woke movies.
The State of Wokeness. pic.twitter.com/6VxifqQTqH
— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) June 20, 2022
Maverick portrays the American military positively and does not preach about social justice messaging. The film is fun and patriotic. Meanwhile, Disney/Pixar used the family-friendly Lightyear to send a political message.
According to Variety, Disney decided to include a scene in which two women kiss to protest over the Florida Parental Rights in Education bill.
“[A] kiss between the characters had been cut from the film. Following the uproar surrounding the Pixar employees’ statement and Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s handling of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, however, the kiss was reinstated into the movie last week.”
So Disney changed production plans to use Toy Story as a political megaphone. That’s a rather interesting choice, one that clearly backfired.
Lightyear also, reportedly, refused to cast Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz Lightyear because he has conservative political beliefs.
Top Gun: Maverick is entertainment. Lightyear is entertainment wrapped in social justice messaging. Moviegoers, evidently, prefer the former.
Showing you are on the politically correct side of every issue works on Twitter and in the media, but it fails in the marketplace.
Nothing woke has been successful. Americans have rejected woke movies, woke sports, and woke media. How many more projects and people have to fail for content creators to understand this?
You might think the disparate box offices between Maverick and Lightyear would convince Hollywood studios to change course. However, that would mean you are thinking rationally, and Hollywood does not think rationally. Obviously.
So expect more family films to protest the Florida bill with same-sex kisses and the exclusion of actors like Tim Allen. And, most of all, expect these films to flop as hard as Lightyear did.