NEW YORK - "Toy Story 4" brought the box office to life with a $118 million opening weekend after a three-week slump of underperforming sequels, but the Pixar film's below-expectations debut didn't quell continuing concerns about a rocky summer movie season.

According to studio estimates, the "Toy Story 4" opening ranks as the fourth highest animated film opening ever, not accounting for inflation.

Above it are 2018's "Incredibles 2" ($182 million), 2016's "Finding Dory" ($135 million), and 2007's "Shrek the Third" ($121 million).

It's the year's third largest debut, trailing only a pair of other Disney releases: "Avengers: Endgame" and "Captain Marvel."

But heading into the weekend, a $140-150 million opening had seemed assured for "Toy Story 4," which played in 4,575 North American theatres.

Adjusted for inflation, the film came in shy of the $110.3 million -- or about $129 million in today's dollars -- "Toy Story 3" made nine years ago.

The opening for "Toy Story 4" follows a string of disappointing sequels including "Dark Phoenix," "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and "Men in Black: International."

But "Toy Story 4" had something those films didn't: great reviews. It rates 98% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences gave it an A CinemaScore.

The sequel, which introduces the child-made plaything Forky (voiced by Tony Hale) to the voice cast including Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, also grossed $120 million internationally, including a modest $13.4 million in China, the world's second largest film market.

The overall marketplace didn't give "Toy Story 4" much momentum.

Last week's top film, Sony Pictures' poorly reviewed "Men in Black International" slid 64 per cent, slipping to fourth place with $10.8 million.