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‘Lightyear’ — Disney Film with Same-Sex Kiss — Underwhelms on Opening Weekend

“Lightyear,” the latest film from Disney’s Pixar, didn’t make it to infinity and beyond this weekend.

The Disney flick, an animated biopic about Buzz Lightyear, the astronaut from the “Toy Story” saga, fell well short of its projected box office earnings on opening weekend, according to Deadline. Disney anticipated a $70 million weekend; instead, the movie brought in $51 million domestically.

While the showing is lower than expected, it is certainly not a failure. It is on par with other Pixar movies like “Coco” ($51 million) and “Ratatouille” ($47 million). According to Variety, “Lightyear” cost $200 million to produce, not including marketing efforts leading up to its theatrical release.

‘Lightyear’ Opening Weekend Box Office Falls Below Projections at $51 Million

— WDW News Today (@WDWNT) June 19, 2022

The lower-than-expected earnings are likely the result of the controversy tied to the “Toy Story” spinoff.

Actor Chris Evans, known for portraying Captain America in the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe, voices Buzz Lightyear in the new movie. Some were critical of Disney for ditching actor Tim Allen, who voiced the character in the “Toy Story” series. Actor Patricia Heaton, for example, claimed Disney made a “huge mistake” by recasting the role.

The main controversy surrounding “Lightyear” — Pixar’s 26th feature film — is a same-sex kiss between two female characters, who are in a romantic relationship with one another. The scene was reportedly briefly removed from the film before pro-LGBT Disney employees demanded it remain in the movie.

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Last week, just days before “Lightyear” hit the big screen, Evans rebuked the parents and critics who took issue with the same-sex kiss being featured in a movie targeted toward children.

Evans, 41, maligned those opposed to the scene as “idiots.”

“Throughout history, you can see, every time there’s been social advancement, as we wake up, the American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth, and that’s what makes us good,” he said, later adding to Reuters, “Those people die off like dinosaurs. I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward, and embrace the growth that makes us human.”

Anyone who has been paying attention to the goings on at The Walt Disney Company shouldn’t be surprised by the entertainment brand’s unflinching commitment to advancing the LGBT agenda.

What’s the background?

In April, amid the controversy centered on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, Disney CEO Bob Chapek pledged during an internal summit to be “a better ally for the LGBTQ+ community.” And Karey Burke, president of general entertainment for Disney, said she would like to see “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters” in Disney movies and series.

Vivian Ware, “diversity and inclusion manager” at Disney, also rejoiced over the fact that Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida have nixed narrative mentions of “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” to create “that magical moment” for kids who don’t identify as male or female.

“We don’t want to just assume, because someone might be, in our interpretation, maybe presenting as female, that they may not want to be called ‘princess,’” she said. “So let’s think differently about how do we really engage with our guests in a meaningful and inclusive way that makes it magical and memorable for everyone.”

SCOOP: Disney diversity and inclusion manager Vivian Ware says the company has eliminated all mentions of “ladies,” “gentlemen,” “boys,” and “girls” in its theme parks in order to create “that magical moment” for children who do not identify with traditional gender roles.

— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔ (@realchrisrufo) March 29, 2022

The Walt Disney Company’s repeated condemnation of Florida’s parental rights bill, which simply states public school educators cannot teach children in pre-K through third grade about gender identity and sexual orientation, ultimately led state lawmakers to rescind Disney’s special governing status.

You can read more about the future of Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District here.

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