Miracles do happen. A good movie — make that a great movie — hit the No. 1 spot this weekend. That’s right, Pixar’s latest animated masterwork, Up, had the helium to fly off with $68.2 million. That kicked the lazy ass of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian to second place. If only Up had dragged that Ben Stiller sequel to hell. Last night on the MTV Movie Awards, even Triumph the Wonder Dog referred to Museum as torture right to Stiller’s face. I’ll second that cigar-smoking mutt.
Up scored the third biggest Pixar opening weekend, following 2004’s The Incredibles ($70.5 million) and 2003’s Finding Nemo ($70.3 million). So much for all the hand wringing that audiences wouldn’t show up and pay up for a movie about a little boy and an old man with dentures. Up scored the best reviews of any movie so far this year. Sam Raimi’s return to his low-rent horror roots, Drag Me To Hell, also won wide critical approval. But its 3rd place weekend take of $16.6 million had some box-office watchers predicting doom. I’m betting (read: hoping) that Raimi and his denture-wearing old lady from hell will build an audience. If it doesn’t, let the curse of the Lamia fall on those with no spirit to venture out of their comfort zones. Raimi’s movie isn’t big budget, nor does it have a 3-D gimmick to lure in the crowds.
Up is Pixar’s first 3-D movie and the screens showing Up in 3-D (about 1500 of them) did twice as well as the theaters showing Up in 2-D. I’d like to reactions from those of you who saw Up wearing 3-D glasses, since I prefer the 2-D version myself. But any way you look at it, Up is a winner, making it 10 hits out of 10 movies for Pixar. Below are the Pixar 10 ranked by box-office clout. Screw money. Let’s pick the all-time Pixar Top 3 purely on artistic merit (I’ll go with The Incredibles, WALL-E and Up) and then throw in a nominee for bottom of the barrel (maybe A Bug’s Life). Here’s the list — jump in:
- Finding Nemo
- Monsters, Inc.
- Toy Story 2
- Toy Story
- >A Bug’s Life