Disney Loses Over $100 Million from Chris Evans' Lightyear (Report)

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Lightyear Disney

A report from Disney revealed that Chris Evans' animated spin-off Lightyear actually lost the studio a substantial amount of money at the box office.

Although Disney hoped to add a new layer to the Toy Story legacy with Evans' take on Buzz Lightyear, the animated feature faced more than its fair share of issues upon its release.

Immediately after its theatrical debut, Pixar's 26th movie was the subject of an unfortunate wave of review-bombing, most of them complaining about a gay kiss that even got the movie banned in some countries.

And while Disney didn't waver in including this moment, with Evans even calling those review-bombers "idiots," it didn't help save Lightyear from coming up short of expectations.

Lightyear Loses Disney Massive Dollars

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Deadline revealed that Disney lost an estimated $106 million after the release of Chris Evans' Lightyear, with the film's total expenses totaling $373 million and only earning $267 million in revenue.

The new Pixar movie only earned $118.3 million domestically and $108.1 million internationally, which included a ban in China - a ban that Disney has seen for several other movies in the last few years.

This worldwide total barely exceeded the movie's production cost of $200 million - and that doesn't even include advertising, residuals, and interest - resulting in such a massive +$100M net loss.

Lightyear joins Cars 3 and The Good Dinosaur as the most notable theatrical-fronted Pixar films that didn't make back their money on the screen. 

There are dozens of high-profile movies released every year that don't make their movie back, even family-oriented films. In 2019, Annapurna Pictures' Missing Link suffered a $101.3 million loss while Fox's last X-Men movie, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, lost $133 million during its theatrical run.

2018 saw a couple of movies with similar losses, two of them from Disney, A Wrinkle in Time ($130.6 million) and Solo: A Star Wars Story ($79.6 million).

Will Lightyear's Loses Set Disney Back?

Disney certainly had its fair share of disappointments outside of Lightyear, even taking into account that the MCU had a few fairly successful movies.

And with the company as a whole looking to make sure it puts out the best product possible, no matter how many delays come as a result, these numbers will only make Disney look even harder to make improvements to its release strategy.

This year, Pixar and Disney will return to the theatrical game with Elemental, giving fans a fresh new story that will hopefully provide new classic characters to celebrate.

And even though the Toy Story legacy is also set to continue with the recently confirmed Toy Story 5, the hope is that Lightyear's struggles will only be a bump in the road for the animated movie juggernaut.

Lightyear is now streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.