How beloved Disney/Pixar sequel turned PH box office ‘inside out’

How beloved Disney/Pixar sequel turned PH box office ‘inside out’

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:25 AM June 26, 2024

How beloved Disney/Pixar sequel turned PH box office ‘inside out’

From left: Anger, Fear, Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Envy, Anxiety and Embarassment —Photo Courtesy of DISNEY/PIXAR

We’ve always pointed out that surprise for its own sake isn’t always a virtue. But Disney and Pixar’s record-smashing sequel “Inside Out 2,” which launches its third week in Philippine cinemas today, utilizes its surprising new set of “empowered” emotions inside a teenager’s mind in clever and insightful ways to prevent the ensuing drama from becoming unbearably treacly.

Currently with a 91-percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the beloved animated franchise refuses to simply whisk viewers through a checklist of clichés by fielding a cotton candy-coated variation of the same theme.


Instead, it gives main protagonist Riley Andersen (voiced by Kensington Tallman), now 13 years old and about to enter high school, a solid resource of urgent “adolescent” concerns to draw from, two years after her family relocates to San Francisco at the end of 2015’s “Inside Out.”


With her “sense of self” growing by the day, Riley’s personified emotions, namely Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Tony Hale), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Liza Lapira) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), must come to terms with the discombobulating arrival and heightened presence of new emotions like Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adele Exarchopoulos), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser), even Nostalgia (June Squibb)—whose arrival sets the teenager’s awkward upheavals in motion.

Imbued with grace, sensitivity and reassuring warmth, “Inside Out 2” spins a deeply moving coming-of-age yarn that eschews melodrama for something more thoughtful and provocative, ticking off a natural crescendo of events paced with unrelenting urgency and brevity rather than an onslaught of overwrought effects.

More than anything, it’s the movie’s “transcendent relatability” that viewers everywhere find hard to resist. With an odd bit of synergy between her old and new emotions, Riley’s story has also been tugging and clawing at audiences’ proverbial heartstrings at the box office and has since resulted in the third-biggest opening of all time in the Philippines, behind only 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” and 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”

“Inside Out 2’s” success also reasserts a trend in Pixar history, in which the animation studio’s sequels opened better than the first—such as “Toy Story 2,” “Finding Dory,” “Incredibles 2” and now “Inside Out 2.”

In an email interview conducted last week, we asked Vineet Puri, Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia vice president and general manager, to weigh in on what the potential reasons could be behind Pixar sequels’ unabating success.

“Sequels like ‘Inside Out 2’ are well-received as they build on nostalgia, drawing in audiences who are familiar with the original characters and who appreciate high-quality animation,” Vineet explained. “In the case of ‘Inside Out,’ the sequel has been highly anticipated as our fans were intrigued to see how the film made room for more emotions when Riley becomes a teenager. By blending familiarity with fresh storytelling, ‘Inside Out 2’ appeals to both loyal fans and a new generation of audiences in the Philippines.


“With a robust lineup of sequels, prequels and new titles across brands and franchises, we look forward to bringing more heartwarming and relatable storytelling experiences to our Filipino fans across generations.”



Asked to elaborate on the production’s performance in the Philippines, aside from logging in the third-biggest opening weekend of all time, he shared, “The film also holds the record for the all-time highest opening weekend for an animated title in the Philippines and the biggest film opening of 2024. Its gross box-office revenue was P88.8 million for the opening day and P381 million for the opening weekend.”

The rest of our Q&A with the Disney executive:

Which other market around the region has “Inside Out 2” performed in similar record-breaking fashion?

“Inside Out 2” blew past all expectations with a $295-million opening globally. We are seeing exceptional performances in markets all over the world, including the Southeast Asian region.

In Thailand, the film has the all-time highest opening weekend for a Pixar title. In Singapore, it has the second-biggest opening weekend of 2024, year-to-date. In Malaysia and Vietnam, the film has the all-time second-highest opening weekend for a Pixar title (behind “Incredibles 2”). And in Indonesia, it has the all-time fourth-highest opening weekend for a Pixar title (behind “Toy Story 4,” “Incredibles 2” and “Finding Dory”).

Speaking of other movies, what are some of the upcoming releases that moviegoers in the Philippines can look forward to?

Fans can keep a lookout for exciting titles across our brands and franchises, from the action-packed “Deadpool & Wolverine” (beginning July 24), to the bone-chilling “Alien: Romulus” (Aug. 14), to the highly anticipated musical sequels and prequels like “Moana 2” (Nov. 27) and “Mufasa: The Lion King” (in December).

How did Disney tailor its marketing approach in the Philippines to make “Inside Out 2” resonate with local fans?

A key factor behind Disney’s enduring connection with fans in the Philippines can be traced to our understanding of local consumption habits and our innovative, integrated marketing efforts which engage consumers across physical and social channels.

With “Inside Out 2,” we wanted to engage not only our existing fans, but also a new generation of young audiences and families. This is why we have collaborated with some of the most influential voices in the Philippines to share exclusive film experiences with our audience—including Kendra Kramer’s visit to the Pixar Animation Studios in California, where her 1.2 million followers could get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the sequel.

Vineet Puri, vice president and general manager of The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia —PHOTO BY RENDY ARYANTO/VVS.SG

Vineet Puri, vice president and general manager of The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia —PHOTO BY RENDY ARYANTO/VVS.SG

We know Filipinos love the social experience of watching great films on the big screen. “Inside Out 2” really is the perfect film for a family or “barkada” outing, where audiences can experience new and old emotions with friends and families.

“Inside Out 2”-themed photo walls, selfie mirrors and other installations also drummed up excitement across all age groups, leading to the film’s robust box-office performance during the opening weekend.

What do you think explains Filipino consumers’ special affinity to “Inside Out”?

“Inside Out 2” spoke to audiences across age demographics as the film touches upon deeply relevant and universal themes, like growing up, coping with change, and the importance of emotional balance and understanding.

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The film’s spotlight on family relationships and friendships also resonated with the local culture, as well as with young teens and parents in the Philippines. INQ

TAGS: Entertainment, Inside Out

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