Monday, June 27, 2011

Box office report: 'Cars 2' cruises to first place with $68 mil

From ew, Ka-ching! Disney and Pixar’s Cars 2 shook off conservative industry projections and wound up opening to a hearty $68 million, according to studio estimates. While that’s by no means the strongest debut for a Pixar film, Cars 2‘s performance should come as something of a relief to the animation powerhouse since some industry experts were predicting a debut closer to $50 million. Among all 12 Pixar movies, Cars 2‘s opening ranks fifth. When adjusted for ticket-price inflation, it drops down to ninth. The original Cars debuted to $60.1 million in 2006, or about $72 million in today’s dollars.

It’s a bit hard to gauge moviegoers’ response to the $200 million automotive sequel. CinemaScore audiences gave it a strong “A-” grade, which should indicate positive word of mouth. However, Cars 2 dropped 9 percent from Friday to Saturday. Family films usually grow from Friday to Saturday, so this decline is a bit concerning. Part of the problem may have been the G-rated film’s mediocre reviews, which potentially scared off some childless adults. Or Cars 2 was simply front-loaded thanks to families with young boys demanding to see the movie right away. As for Hollywood’s current 3-D funk, Cars 2 didn’t provide any relief. According to Disney, 40 percent of the film’s gross came from 3-D screenings, making Cars 2 the fourth straight major release (after Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Green Lantern) to earn less than half of its opening from 3-D theaters. Hollywood is hoping that next week’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon breaks the trend.

Full box office here

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