Finishing up my inadvertent Week of Pixar-Related Stuff:
For the second straight weekend, Up was the top movie at the box office in the United States Ummm, oops, scratch that…Up was the second-place movie at the box office in the U.S. this last weekend – its gross dropped only 35% from last weekend to this weekend. People, that’s absolutely spectacular, at least for most movies, and it’s still pretty impressive even by Pixar’s lofty standards (see chart below). For some perspective, industry pundits celebrated Star Trek’s 42% second-week dropoff as an example of excellent staying power, and this is…well, it’s seven better, isn’t it? (For further comparison, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian fell off 55% between the first and second weekends and X-Men Origins: Wolverine fell off 69%.)
The lesson to be learned here? Short movie titles lead to better audience retention numbers, of course.
Up has already grossed $137 million and is still going strong after weekend number two, meaning it’ll easily sail over the $200 million mark with a decent shot at $250 million by the time it’s done, which would put it in the upper echelons of Pixar’s top moneymakers (but well below Finding Nemo, their biggest hit to date). For more numberiffic comparison, here’s how the nine previous Pixar flicks did in their first two weekends and overall:
|Flick||First Two Weekends||Total Domestic Gross||Second-Week Dropoff|
|WALL-E||$127 million||$223 million||-48.5%|
|Ratatouille||$109 million||$206 million||-38.3%|
|Cars||$117 million||$244 million||-43.9%|
|The Incredibles||$143 million||$261 million||-28.7%|
|Finding Nemo||$144 million||$339 million||-33.7%|
|Monsters, Inc.||$122 million||$255 million||-27.2%|
|Toy Story 2||$116 million||$245 million||-51.6%|
|A Bug’s Life||$68 million||$162 million||-48.4%|
|Toy Story||$64 million||$191 million||-30.8%|
So, it’s official: Up is a blockbuster commercially and critically: an astonishing 98% fresh on RottenTomatoes.com and, honestly, probably already something of a lock for next year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar (or at least a nomination; we do still have half the year left). That makes Pixar ten-for-ten, consistency which is almost mind-boggling. They’ll have to wind up with a swing-and-a-miss someday, of course, but this streak is one I’m hoping doesn’t end anytime soon.