In a seemingly weird counter-programming move, United Artists decided to bring back evil doll Chucky to the screen during the same weekend Disney/Pixar brought back the Toy Story gang for the fourth chapter — but while the rebooted Child’s Play’s earnings were way below Disney’s, the gamble apparently paid off helping the horror movie to come in second place.
While coming short of Disney’s expectations for the movie, Toy Story 4 dominated the box office bringing in a whopping $118 million in North America while Child’s Play came in second making just over $14,000,000.
“As sequels hailing from beloved franchises continue to flounder at the box office, Disney and Pixar’s cartooned fourquel is a much-needed win for the movie business. It now ranks among the top debuts for an animated movie, as well as only the third film this year (so far) to hit triple-digits its inaugural outing,” says Variety’s Rebecca Rubin.
Although both based on toys, the two films couldn’t be less alike. While the G-rated Toy Story 4 features Woody, a doll who only wants what is best for his owner, the R-rated Child’s Play features knife-wielding Chucky bent on killing his owner.
The latter film took shots at Toy Story in the lead-up to its release with a series of spoof posters featuring the aftermath of Chucky apparently attacking Woody, Buzz and others.
New Child’s Play movie poster takes aim at Toy Story 4 https://t.co/sAduKCa0o9
— ComingSoon.net by Mandatory (@comingsoonnet) April 30, 2019
“Whelp, all those vaguely threatening posters feel a bit silly now,” said Vinnie Mancuso from Collider in his report of the box office sales. Even with Mark Hamill voicing Chucky, Child’s Play didn’t have a chance of winning the top spot. However, coming in second spot with $14,000,000 takings certainly wasn’t a flop, and suggests there was good calculation behind the counter-programming move.
The other top movies for the weekend were Aladdin ($12,200,000) coming in third, Men in Black International ($10,750,000) coming in fourth and The Secret Life of Pets 2 ($10,290,000) coming in fifth.