Brave has already made a milestone for Pixar as it marks the 13th straight release to debut at #1. No surprise for a brand that’s loved around the world and continually crafts memorable movies that resonate with children and old children alike. But where does it rank against other Pixar openings?

According to numbers from Box Office Mojo, The Movie Formerly Known as The Bear and the Bow made $66.7m domestically in its first weekend, making it the fifth highest in the production company’s history.

Here’s the full ranking:

  1. Toy Story 3 ($110.3m)
  2. The Incredibles ($70.4m)
  3. Finding Nemo ($70.1m)
  4. Up ($68.1m)
  5. Brave ($66.7m)
  6. Cars 2($66.1m)
  7. Wall-E ($63.0m)
  8. Monsters Inc ($62.5m)
  9. Cars ($60.1m)
  10. Toy Story 2($57.3m)
  11. Ratatouille ($47.0m)
  12. A Bug’s Life ($33.2m)
  13. Toy Story ($29.1m)

Obviously, a few things to remember: this is domestic only and it doesn’t take inflation into account. For example, $29.1m in 90s money is close eleventy billion dollars today.

Cynicism and easy math pervade box office numbers, but the most interesting thing here is that Toy Story, Pixar’s first, is their lowest opening weekend ever. It makes sense. They weren’t a known entity back then, but over 13 movies, they’ve built up a reliable story factory that audience’s trust.

There’s a lot of talk out there about Pixar losing its charm (its touch or the plot), but the lesson for all studios here is that this legacy is one that stories built. Yet again, uncynical, monetary proof that a dedication to characters and storytelling can score big has emerged. Let’s hope studios pick up on it this time.

On the other hand, hopefully Pixar doesn’t continue to prove that the best way to capitalize on that story-based success is with a slew of sequels.


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