Pixar Animation Studios had to juggle things around last year in such a way that the entire 2014 went by us without a movie from this amazing animation studio. So the expectations were always going to be sky high with the upcoming flick, right? Oh boy, do Pixar know how to meet expectations or what! The studio’s latest flick Inside Out had received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival but its true test was on the weekend when it opened in North America and a few other countries. And it hit bullseye. The movie grossed $91.1 million at the domestic box-office alone, which makes it the second-biggest opening for a Pixar film, only behind Toy Story 3 ($110.3 million), which had the benefit of being a franchise film, of course. The opening is way above that of Pixar’s previous movie Brave that had a $66.3 million opening, which in itself was quite good. Inside Out is playing things out in a different league altogether though. This is the fourth best opening for an animated movie, right after Shrek The Third, Toy Story 3 and Shrek 2. It is quite easy to notice that Inside Out is the only non-franchise film in this list. The movie also earned $41 million from a few foreign markets which takes its gross tally to $132 million. The movie has a 98% score on Rottentomatoes and a 8.9 rating on Imdb as of now, so the word-of-mouth would also be strong for this flick in the coming weeks. Inside Out should be crossing $700 million worldwide one would expect, and maybe more, which makes it a staggering hit for Pixar, who spent about $175 million on production apart from additional marketing costs. The studio simply keeps on raising its standards, and so does the director Pete Docter who adds Inside Out to his already impressive resume that includes Monsters, Inc. and Up.
Despite such an impressive opening, Inside Out still could not top the box-office charts in North America, which makes this a record of sorts – the highest weekend opening movie that fails to grab the #1 spot. The top slot goes to the reigning king, Jurassic World, which defied expectations and dropped by only 51% in its second weekend. The second weekend earning is thus $102 million, which is a phenomenal figure to say the least. All fan-driven summer blockbusters usually see a 55% – 60% kind of fall in the second weekend. The one movie previously that too had had a strong hold in the second weekend was The Avengers. You would remember that Jurassic World had won the first round battle with The Avengers last week by breaking the latter’s opening record figure, but it has now fallen marginally behind for the second weekend earnings by a mere million dollars. Jurassic World is however still ahead in the run, having earned $398 million in North America over 10 days as compared to $373 million earned by The Avengers over the same period back in 2012. Last week I had expressed the opinion that Jurassic World would find it tough to meet the domestic earnings tally of The Avengers by the time its theatrical run ends; well, I am not so sure now. The movie’s weekday business has been phenomenal as well, and it refuses to take a pause. Globally, the movie has already earned a whooping $981 million and it will soon become the quickest billion-dollar earner (making a mockery of that landmark in a way!). Universal Pictures has a massive franchise in the making for a newer generation, and I bet we would be seeing a new dinosaur-filled cinematic universe pretty soon.
As two giants took on the box-office, the lesser known Dope was left in the dark earning a mere $6 million in its first weekend. This comedy-drama film would have a low production budget, but even that might not be recovered considering the weak opening figures. To be fair, the movie has a 90% score on Rottentomatoes, but it just chose the wrong time of the year to come on screen. Melissa McCarthy starrer Spy continues to do well, dropping by only 33% in its third weekend. It has earned $131 million worldwide so far, but I believe there are more foreign markets in which the movie is yet to open, so the numbers should improve with time. Dwayne Johnson’s San Andreas continues to do extremely well with $414 million earned worldwide till date.
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office:
1. Jurassic World ($102.0 million; second weekend)
2. Inside Out ($91.1 million)
3. Spy ($10.5 million; third weekend)
4. San Andreas ($8.2 million; fourth weekend)
5. Dope ($6.0 million)