Pixar earned its 14th No. 1 at the box office this weekend — out of 14 releases. Yep, the animation studio, now owned by Disney, has never not opened a film in first place. Its latest release, Monsters University, was no exception. It finished at the top of its class.
Monsters graduated with $82 million from 4,004 theaters in its debut weekend, making it the second biggest Pixar opener of all time behind Toy Story 3, which bowed with $110.3 million in June 2010. It also beat the opening of its predecessor, Monsters Inc., which opened with $62.6 million in 2001. That being said, when inflation is taken into account, Monsters Inc.‘s debut adjusts to about $82 million today (and that was without 3D tickets).
According to Disney, audiences were 56 percent female and 60 percent below the age of 25. Families made up 73 percent of business, and teens accounted for a solid 15 percent. The film played well with all ages, and crowds issued Monsters University an “A” CinemaScore, which should help it endure at the box office for weeks to come.
Monsters University‘s biggest challenge arrives July 3. That’s when Universal’s animated Despicable Me 2 hits theaters and will provide direct competition for families. The original Despicable Me became a word of mouth sensation and earned $251 million in 2010, and because it’s still fresh in audiences’ minds, it provides a formidable threat. But Disney is confident that positive audience reactions will carry Monsters University to success.
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