Incredibles 2 shattered previous box office records for an animated film, debuting at number one domestically and worldwide. Together with strategic timing and mass appeal, this sequel demonstrates the superhero strength of the Disney/Pixar brand.
Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 opened with $183 million over the weekend and another $23 million on Monday. The sequel went down in history as the highest animated film debut of all time—an honor held by DreamWorks’ Shrek 2 since 2004.
“Between their theme parks and powerful global brand, the Disney marketing machine is without equal,” Karie Bible, box office analyst and film historian at Exhibitor Relations, told AListDaily.
One campaign produced by this infamous “machine” was the addition of six Incredibles 2 AR emoji characters on Galaxy S9 phones. Similar to Apple’s Animoji, Samsung’s characters mirror a user’s facial expressions and mouth movements with the front-facing camera.
“Incredibles 2 appealed to virtually all demographics—men, women, families, children, etc. It was a film for the whole family,” noted Bible.
Marketing tactics for the film reflected this “whole family” approach, illustrated by a partnership with ASICS. A multimedia campaign added Incredibles 2 characters and visuals to ASICS’ ongoing #IMoveMe campaign, which hoped to inspire families to get active together.
Marketing you can see, interact with or visit—like this four-story inflatable super baby—are a given for marketing an animated film, but Bible noted other strategies that contributed to the film’s box office success.
“With film releases, timing is everything,” she said. “Prior to Incredibles 2, the last animated feature film from a major studio was Sherlock Gnomes, which came out on March 23. There has been a lull and audiences were clearly hungry for a new offering. Plus, many kids have just gotten out of school for the summer.”
Incredibles 2 boasts the highest box office debut on record for a PG film, thanks in part to the studio’s reputation.
“Pixar has the most consistent track record in Hollywood,” said Bible. “Their films almost always score with audiences, critics and awards voters.”