Chris Evans stepped into “some big shoes” when he took over for Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear.
In Lightyear, The Avengers star voices the Disney icon for a tale set in a galaxy far away from Andy’s bedroom.
According to IMDb, the animated film highlights the adventures of “marooned Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear.” As he tries to make it home to earth, “an army of ruthless robots commanded by Zurg” tries to stop him from reaching his final destination.
The movie tells the story of the man who inspired the toy that would end up landing in the boy’s toybox—it is not about the character that Tim Allen plays. Because of that, Disney said they needed a different actor to star in the role.
And when Chris Evans became the man behind the cartoon, he knew that there would be some major expectations about his performance.
“You know, you’re a little nervous at first because you got big shoes to fill,” he told the Associated Press of taking the role. “I don’t know Tim, I’ve never met him. I just said, we share a birthday, which feels a little kismet. Um, but you trust Pixar. You trust that they know what they’re doing.
“They protect their properties with a lot of honesty and integrity,” he added. “So, you trust that if there’s a story here worth telling, they’ll do it right.”
Chris Evans’ ‘Lightyear’ Seriously Underperforming at the Box Office
But unfortunately, Chris Evans didn’t truly understand how many people are devoted Tim Allen fans.
While Disney has gone on the record claiming that replacing Allen wasn’t a snub, people can’t seem to accept a new voice behind the classic character. And those fans proved that this weekend when Lightyear hit theaters.
Before its debut on June 20th, the movie was expected to bring in over $70 million. But instead, it only hit $51 million.
Historically, Pixar movies in general smash their opening weekends. But the Toy Story franchise has been one of the company’s most successful endeavors.
To put it into perspective, Toy Story 4 opened with $120 million in 2019 and the third installment hit $110 million in 2010. So it was a shock for the spinoff to barely break $50 million.
However, some experts, including Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, expect the movie to see a quick turnaround in the upcoming weeks.
Dergarabedian doesn’t believe that the recasting controversy caused the lackluster turnout. Instead, he believes that people didn’t understand that Lightyear was a Toy Story spinoff and they also may have realized that the movie is only available in theaters since the last few Pixar movies debuted on Disney+.
“Despite coming in with a lower-than-expected weekend,” he said, “Lightyear should benefit in the coming days as word gets out to family audiences who may not have entirely made the Toy Story connection and that the film is only available in theaters.”