10 Reasons Why Lightyear Failed

Breaking down why Pixar's Toy Story spin-off failed to connect with audiences.

Lightyear movie

To say it's been a rough week for Pixar is quite the understatement.

This past weekend the beloved animation studio released their first theatrical animated film in over two years, with high hopes that Toy Story spin-off Lightyear would restore the company's standing on the big screen.

But alas, while Lightyear's reviews have been decent enough, it's already cratered catastrophically at the box office.

With a $200 million budget, the sci-fi adventure film needs to gross around $500 million to turn a profit theatrically, and yet following its disastrous opening weekend, it's going to struggle to make even $400 million.

It's a sad result for a film from the most critically acclaimed animation studio on the planet, and a spin-off movie from their most beloved IP no less.

Industry analysts and fans alike have been racking their brains ever since trying to make sense of why Lightyear failed to strike a chord with audiences, but there's really no single reason that can be pointed to.

Lightyear's failure is the result of a complex confluence of circumstances which, collectively, ensured it simply wasn't an appealing option for most viewers.

So, here are the 10 biggest reasons why Lightyear has struggled to connect with the mainstream...

10. It Wasn't About OUR Buzz Lightyear

Lightyear movie

One of the more blatant reasons that Lightyear didn't make a dent with the millions and millions of Toy Story fans is that it isn't about our Buzz Lightyear.

Fans of course love the character, but the version presented here - a human astronaut voiced by Chris Evans - is such a far cry from the charmingly neurotic toy we know and love that he's near-unrecognisable beyond the perfunctory invocations of the character's classic one-liners.

Knowing that the goofy Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story films was inspired by a relatively po-faced version of the character from a 1995 movie isn't as appealing as Pixar thinks, and simply, fans are only really interested in the Buzz they've grown up with.

Had Lightyear been styled instead in the vein of the Star Command movie and TV show, with Buzz presented similarly to his Toy Story self, than it surely would've had an easier time getting people's attention.

As it stands, Disney and Pixar vastly overestimated the general audience's interest in a more realistic proto-Buzz.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.