Surprise, ‘Incredibles 2’ Is Pixar’s Biggest Box Office Hit Ever

incredibles 2

What does the success of Incredibles 2 mean for Pixar, Disney, and everyone else? Especially if they didn’t love the studio’s latest sequel? 

From Jessica Rawden at Cinemablend:

Previously, that accolade went to Finding Dory, a movie that grossed a little bit over $486 million domestically and a little over a billion worldwide. Incredibles 2 has been a much bigger winner domestically, making more than $602 million in North America and another $562.5 million worldwide. It’s current total has it at $1,164,826,913 (via Box Office Mojo), which means it has topped the movie that just kept swimming to become Pixar’s highest grosser. It’s also notable because a few weeks ago, the sequel was already the first animated movie to gross over $500 million domestically, and now it’s north of $600 million.

As Rawden mentions, Frozen is still the highest grossing animated film of all time, but Incredibles 2 is hot on its heels, just recently surpassing Minions.

Now, box office only says so much about the quality of a film, but it does paint a compelling picture, one that at this point can’t be denied. In order for Pixar to maintain their high standards with original content, they made the controversial decision to bank on sequels over a decade back. We now see Finding Dory and Incredibles 2 to be among the most profitable films of all time, animated or otherwise, and on the horizon there’s Toy Story 4 and a slew of original stories essentially funded by this box office success.

The entertainment industry lives and dies on narratives. Pixar is combating two of them right now, whether you like it or not. The most pressing is the John Lasseter scandal, one that Disney and Pixar are handling only somewhat competently depending on who you ask. If you ask me, they’ve made good and bad moves on this, but where it counts, they’ve likely curtailed disaster by promoting Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee.

The second narrative is that Pixar’s best days are behind them, and from a quality standpoint that argument still holds merit with some who consider Coco a momentary fluke and Inside Out too long ago in memory (three years) to serve as a counter argument. We’ve known for a while that Pixar still has box office power, however, thanks in large point to the clout of their brand and more hits than misses over the decades. At one point, the “Pixar is doomed” narrative was coupled with the prediction that Walt Disney Animation would soon overtake the studio’s prestigious reputation, and I too found this compelling to believe thanks to some repetitive landmark films in Wreck-It RalphFrozenZootopia, and Moana.

This year, Disney and Pixar eschewed original animated films for sequels (Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet). Expect an Oscars showdown similar to 2016’s Moana vs. Zootopia (sorry Finding Dory fans, that film was never expected to compete for the Academy Award), but this time it’s two sequels, two symbols of a parent company dishing out increasing returns for two beloved IPs.

For fans of Disney and Pixar and animated films in general, this is all great news. But for some who don’t want Pixar rewarded for turning to what they consider the dark side of “franchising,” it can be perceived as less than helpful. All of us want groundbreaking movies, original or sequel, released year after year. Disney and Pixar have the resources to do this in lockstep, sharing brain power and creativity unique to their respective brands. I, for one, champion the spirit of friendly competition. Which of course means I’m also clamoring for DreamWorks to come in for their biggest wave ever.

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14 thoughts on “Surprise, ‘Incredibles 2’ Is Pixar’s Biggest Box Office Hit Ever

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it dozens more times, I’m good with sequels if it means we get originals too. Same goes for Disney.

  2. Anyone else find the new Wreck-It Ralph trailers to look just…bad? None of them have grabbed me so far.

    • I agree except for the part with the disney princesses.

    • I agree to an extent and talked about this briefly on the fall preview episode of Cinemaholics (as I write this, the episode hasn’t come out yet). The only reason I have faith in the film is because of the talent attached. And I recall the marketing for the first Wreck-It Ralph being somewhat weak as well.

  3. Looking forward to Gigantic?

    • Kind of. We don’t know much yet beyond “new Disney film based on a fairy tale.” Could go either way.

  4. “This year, Disney and Pixar eschewed original animated films for sequels (Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet). Expect an Oscars showdown similar to 2016’s Moana vs. Zootopia (sorry Finding Dory fans, that film was never expected to compete for the Academy Award), but this time it’s two sequels, two symbols of a parent company dishing out increasing returns for two beloved IPs.”

    Unless Ralph miraculously rocks my 2018 rankings, I hope both Disney properties split the vote and allow Wes Anderson to win Best Animated Feature this time with Isle of Dogs (hands-down my favorite film of 2018, and a film that honestly also deserves a Best Director nomination). I also hope, given 2018’s pitiful slate of western studio animation offerings, that Masaaki Yuasa’s The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl will get nominated. With Night Is Short and Lu Over the Wall, Yuasa gives the Academy the perfect opportunity to finally nominate a non-Studio Ghibli anime feature.

    • I enjoyed Isle of Dogs as well, but I would be surprised to see it win, honestly. Nominated, sure, but while the critical consensus was positive overall, that film had a lot of baggage, plus releasing earlier in the year (a staple of Anderson) hurts its chances.

      I want to rewatch the film. If I like it more than the first time, I might root for it, in fact. And I’m right with you when it comes to Studio Ghibli getting recognized for their efforts.

      • I’m a Seattleite born to Filipino immigrants who saw Isle of Dogs six times. I couldn’t care less about the PC baggage. ^_^

        *Non*-Studio Ghibli, *non*-Studio Ghibli. The Academy has been fine nominating Studio Ghibli’s last three anime features. Anime features from any other studio never had a chance. (Still resentful of no noms for In This Corner of the World and *especially* Your Name.) Yuasa has *two* solid-at-worst anime films, one of which I would argue might be one of the best animated films of the 2010s, period. The Academy’s Animation branch would be stupid to overlook him.

        • Your Name was the film I was thinking of when you brought this up. Sadly, I haven’t seen This Corner of the World, but now I’ll consider giving it a look.

  5. You are very anxious about the next moves of both studios, aren’t you? Sadly, both want to keep their early 2020s schedule under wraps, and I don’t see that changing for a year or so because of the Fox adquisition, among other things. For now, let’s enjoy Ralph 2 doing half the money Incredibles 2 did and Toy Story 4’s trailer being controversial.

    • Anxious isn’t the right word. Cautiously curious.

  6. This is amazing movie. Recently watched on FreeFlix HD VOD section. I just mesmarized by the story and charecters. I want to watch it again.

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