Box Office: The Toys Are Back in Town

Toy Story 3

There’s a lesson to be learned here.  It’s that you should never doubt Pixar, not even a little bit.  Whether it is in the quality of their work or how successful their latest film is going to be, doubt should be locked up like Sid for all the crimes I’m sure he grew up to commit.  There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Toy Story 3 would come out on top of the box office this weekend.  What some were doubting, myself included, was how well it would actually do.  Once again, Pixar closed the doubters mouths and proved they are still the go-to champion for all things animated.

Not only did Toy Story 3 score the highest opening weekend for a Pixar film, it completely shattered the six-year record standing in the wake of The Incredibles‘ $70.4-million opening weekend.  At $109 million, Toy Story 3‘s weekend gross is already more than half what the first Toy Story made in its entire, 1995, domestic run, and it’s close to half of Toy Story 2‘s total, domestic take from 1999.  Needless to say, there is going to be a mass celebration at the Pixar offices come tomorrow morning, and director Lee Unkrich is going to be the belle of that ball.  Other records Toy Story 3 broke include opening weekend for a G-rated film (it beat out Finding Nemo) and June opening (it beat out Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen from just last year).

The success Toy Story 3 has already garnered also brings up an interesting notion that I’m sure Pixar is going to be kicking around in the coming weeks.  Do they revisit these character one more time?  Much has been said about Toy Story 3 being the final film of the franchise.  In fact, without giving away too much of the film’s ending, I can say it is a nice stopping off point.  However, there is also a recognition that they could continue on with these characters if they need/choose to.  Where Toy Story 3‘s ultimate box office is going to end up is anyone’s guess.  What is obvious is that it is going to be huge, and a Toy Story 4 is the next likely stop on the bus.  Pixar isn’t a company to jump on franchises willy nilly.  Toy Story is the only franchise they’ve actually pulled the trigger on thus far.  That isn’t to say they won’t see the dollar signs before their eyes and throw buckets of cash to Tom Hanks and Tim Allen to get them back in the sound booth.

A film that didn’t break any records of any kind this weekend and won’t be getting a big screen sequel any time soon was Jonah Hex.  With its $5.08-million opening, it has the worst opening for a DC property turned to film besides Steel in 1997 and the animated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm in 1993.  Even 1984’s Supergirl had bigger opening weekend numbers than Jonah Hex, and that’s not even accounting for 26 years of inflation.  Bad buzz brought on by the way the film was chopped up had a huge hand in this, I’m sure, and it is going to be interesting to see what version Warner puts out on DVD.  Something tells me an unrated director’s cut might be all we see.

The Karate Kid had an impressive second weekend, bringing its total, domestic take past the $100-million mark.  Iron Man 2 held onto a spot in the top ten this weekend, getting itself to $300 million and beyond.  In a surprising realization, Robin Hood got to $100 million in domestic box office this weekend.  Coupled with the $195 million it’s made throughout the rest of the world, the film is actually turning a decent profit for Universal.  Don’t expect them to be knocking on Ridley Scott’s door to get that sequel made, though.

Here is how the weekend box office shaped up:

  1. Toy Story 3 – $109m NEW
  2. The Karate Kid – $29m (-47.9%) $106.2m total
  3. The A-Team – $13.7m (-46.3%) $49.7m total
  4. Get Him to the Greek – $6.1m (-38.5%) $47.8m total
  5. Shrek Forever After – $5.5m (-65%) $222.9m total
  6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – $5.2m (-18.7%) $80.5m total
  7. Killers – $5.1m (-36.3%) $39.3m total
  8. Jonah Hex – $5.0m NEW
  9. Iron Man 2 – $2.6m (-40.8%) $304.7m total
  10. Marmaduke – $2.6m (-55.9%) $27.8m total

This weekend’s $183.8 million isn’t all that surprising.  We knew Toy Story 3 would have a huge weekend.  We knew The Karate Kid would have a nice second weekend.  We also knew Jonah Hex would bomb hard.  The 31.2% increase from last weekend’s numbers is impressive, but it or something like it was expected.  So, too, was the 31.9% increase from the same weekend last year.  The Proposal wasn’t the huge bread winner Toy Story 3 proved to be.  Even though Year One was a bigger film than Jonah Hex, it and The Proposal couldn’t make up for the massive amounts of money Pixar was able to pull in this weekend.

Next weekend is going to be an interesting one to analyze.  The Tom Cruise vehicle Knight & Day is releasing two days early on Wednesday to get the box office primed for its weekend take.  The all-star comedy Grown Ups is likely to prove its own worth in ticket sales, as well.  However, the chances either of them will be able to stand up to Toy Story 3‘s second weekend seem little to nil and little looks to be headed out of town.  We’ll be back on Tuesday evening to take a look how next weekend is shaping up.

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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