What in the World? Disney's Latest Film Actually Exceeding Expectations Amid Rough 2024 Box Office


It may be time to introduce “Surprise” to the cast of emotions that make up Disney-Pixar’s animated movie franchise “Inside Out.”

That’s because it’s hard to describe the success of “Inside Out 2” without using the word “surprise.”

“Inside Out” — a movie that anthropomorphizes human emotions that live and work within you — saw its sequel come out Friday (early screenings began a day prior), and “Inside Out 2” has been, by all commercial metrics, a rousing smash hit.

According to early box office projections obtained by Deadline, “Inside Out 2” is on track for a blistering $250 million global box office haul.

That includes $140 million domestically and another $110 million internationally.

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That’s a welcome bit of good news for a movie industry — especially including Disney — that’s been languishing at the box office as moviegoers continue to prefer older movies in theaters — or not going to theaters at all.

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In particular, 2023 was a particularly brutal year for the box office.

And while things have gotten a smidgen better in 2024, there has still been plenty of bad news.

Take, for instance, the historically catastrophic Memorial Day that Hollywood just had. That long weekend saw the much-hyped next entry in the beloved “Mad Max” franchise, titled “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” come in way below expectations.

That’s a stark contrast to “Inside Out 2,” which is easily blowing past expectations with its initial box office burst.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is being a bit more subdued when it comes to the expected domestic haul of the film, which some pundits are penciling in anywhere from $155 to $160 million.

Wherever that final figure hits, it’ll be a welcome win for the House of Mouse, and it’s both a little surprising and not surprising at all.

It’s a tad surprising because “Inside Out” isn’t exactly a prestige franchise for Disney or Pixar. The first movie only came out in 2015, so it’s not exactly from Disney’s golden era.

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But it’s also not surprising because from all the early promotional material, “Inside Out 2” appears to be heeding what fans have been clamoring for: Less social justice messaging, more substantive plots.

Now, this writer hasn’t seen “Inside Out 2,” but I’m sure there’s bound to be some far-left tilt or angle within it. It’s Disney, after all, and they just can’t help themselves.

But at least in the promotional material and early trailers for “Inside Out 2,” Disney made the film seem like a straightforward sequel chronicling the new emotions people have to deal with as they become teenagers.

(Riley, the main character of the franchise, only featured Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust and Fear in “Inside Out.” She now has Anxiety, Ennui, Embarrassment and Envy joining her emotional makeup in the sequel.)

It’s a straightforward, seemingly family-friendly tale about the pains of growing up. Why wouldn’t audiences flock to it amid the dreck that Hollywood (and Disney) have been offering in 2023 and most of 2024?

Now, would anyone actually expect Disney to glean the proper lessons from this unexpected success?

Traditional wisdom would say “No.”

However, given some of what CEO Bob Iger has said of late, as well as the unmitigated failure of the wildly left-leaning Star Wars series “The Acolyte,” maybe, just maybe, Disney will actually learn something meaningful from the unexpected success of “Inside Out 2.”


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The Western Journal

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech