The Year’s First Movie Blockbuster: “Inside Out 2” Earns A Billion Dollars


Talk about a mood booster. Disney and Pixar‘s emotion-laden “Inside Out 2” is the first film of the year to hit $1 billion at the global box office.

After 19 days of release, the animated sequel has grossed $469.3 million in North America and $545.5 million internationally for a worldwide tally of $1.015 billion. It’s one of 11 animated films to join the billion-dollar club (eight of which are Disney titles), and it’s the fastest animated release to do so.

When “Inside Out 2” opened in theaters on June 14, the film shattered expectations with $151 million domestically and overtook “Dune: Part 2” ($711 million) as the biggest opening of the year. It was also the first movie since last July’s “Barbie” ($162 million) to debut above $100 million. Since then, the second “Inside Out” has retained the top spot on box office charts for three consecutive weekends and became the highest-grossing movie domestically and globally of 2024. Earlier this week, it surpassed the lifetime gross of its predecessor, 2015’s “Inside Out” ($859 million worldwide).

Those benchmarks are especially encouraging for movie theaters, which were nervously waiting for something, anything to connect at this scale with audiences during this otherwise dismal summer season. It’s also a triumph for Pixar, which has struggled at the box office in recent years as its parent company, Disney, sent films like “Turning Red,” “Soul” and “Luca” directly to Disney+ during the pandemic. Pixar chief Pete Docter, who directed 2015’s “Inside Out,” has stressed that COVID-era strategy “trained” audiences to watch the studio’s movies at home — hence the comparatively less-embraced theatrical releases of 2022’s “Lightyear” and 2023’s “Elemental.”

“On behalf of movie theatre owners across the country and around the world, we want to congratulate Disney’s ‘Inside Out 2’ for grossing $1 billion faster than any animated movie in history,” says Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners. “The film’s stunning global success once again illustrates that audiences the world over will respond to compelling, entertaining movies, and that they want to enjoy them on the big screen.”

“Inside Out 2” has succeeded theatrically thanks to several factors, including goodwill for the original 2015 head trip, stellar word-of-mouth and four-quadrant appeal. The follow-up film arrived on the big screen nearly 10 years after the original adventure about the inner feelings — including Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and Anger (Lewis Black) — of a young girl named Riley. The sequel, directed by Kelsey Mann in his feature debut, revisits a teenaged Riley, who discovers new emotions of Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and Nostalgia (June Squibb) as she heads to hockey camp over the summer.

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