‘Inside Out 2’ uplifts sagging summer box office; Netflix to launch “immersive entertainment centers”

Hosted by

“Inside Out 2” has Hollywood crying happy tears with a $155 million domestic debut. Photo credit: Sthanlee Mirador/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Disney and Pixar's “Inside Out 2” thawed the chill from the summer box office with a whopping $155 million domestic debut. But is it enough to say the movie industry is back on its feet? Plus, is Netflix giving Disney a run for its money with its announcement of new “immersive entertainment centers?” Kim Masters and Matt Belloni weigh in.

Is Pixar back? “You can almost hear Pete Docter and Jim Morris, the heads of Pixar, exhaling over this opening,” says Matt Belloni of Puck News, adding that the animated film will likely hit the billion dollar mark. “There [were] real questions over whether Pixar was still a box office brand, and I think that that has been answered.”

Too soon for happy tears? After a woeful start to the summer box office, Kim Masters says questions are still looming over the industry’s health after Inside Out’s success. “The business is still recovering from the strikes and even COVID,” she says. “Can it truly recover? I don't know if it can go back to pre-COVID, but can it be a viable business? That is the question.” 

Netflix malls? The company announced the launch of two “immersive entertainment centers” in Dallas and Philadelphia, slated for 2025. “This is a pretty big bet,” says Belloni. “They don't necessarily see this as a huge profit center at first. It's more [for] letting people express their fan devotion to Netflix in the real world.”

Competing with Disney? Disney launched its first theme park in 1955, nearly two decades after it debuted its first princess movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937). “Netflix is sort of in that territory now,” Belloni says. “They think that by doing these kinds of mall-oriented spatial events they can compete, at least in the small terms, with what Disney has built.”




Kim Masters


Robin Estrin