The Quorum

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 was huge. Can LIGHTYEAR and MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU do even better?

Just how big was SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2? It more than doubled the largest PG or G-rated opening of the pandemic. The previous record was held by SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY at $31M. It was the first PG or G film to open above $70M since FROZEN 2 in 2019. 

It’s fair to say that families have returned to the theater. 

That’s good news for LIGHTYEAR (6/17) and MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU (7/1), the summer’s two highest profile family films. Is it possible that these two will do even better than SONIC? Let’s look at the numbers.

Let’s start by looking at awareness. LIGHTYEAR and MINIONS are about two months from release. At the same distance, SONIC (light yellow) had an awareness of 49%. MINIONS (brown) is at 48%, and LIGHTYEAR (dark yellow) is at 50%. We’ll call this a wash. 

Things look quite a bit different on the interest side. Here we can see that LIGHTYEAR (light blue) and MINIONS (medium blue) are doing quite a bit better than SONIC (navy blue). 

The Quorum doesn’t capture an audience under 16 years old, so when it comes to family films, interest reflects adults only.

Pixar has always had a strong appeal among adults, including those without kids. So it’s not surprising to see LIGHTYEAR with the strongest interest of the three. On the other hand, SONIC is squarely targeted at kids and parents. 

The success of a family film often depends on its ability to attract an audience beyond parents and kids. LIGHTYEAR looks very well positioned to do that. Same for MINIONS, though to a lesser extent. 

As of now, both look like they could match or exceed the opening for SONIC. And that’s a good thing. Family films are vital for a healthy box office. 

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