Box Office Barometer 6-27-11: Don’t Blame Pixar!

Cars 2 won the weekend much to Pixar-purists’ chagrin.  These purists are decrying it as the end to Pixar’s streak of greatness, marking it as its first movie to receive a “Rotten” rating from  In reality, these pundits were already decrying Cars as the worst of Pixar, so what could really be expected of a sequel?  A Wolverine-esque rebirth?  A Godfather 2-caliber movie?  Yes, it makes sense for a studio to not extend the life of a story people want to see, but $68 million-worth of tickets were sold, as this is clearly a movie positioned to capitalize on the parent-child demographic. Cars was their most profitable Pixar movie, and Cars 2 is on pace to make $10 BILLION in merchandising!  That figure can’t be ignored.

The merchandise does not make Cars 2 excusable.  If anything, it actually makes it sound like Pixar “sold out.”  However, Pixar is owned by Disney, which is a corporation, which by definition is evil.  Pixar cares about movies, and Disney cares about everything else.  As a studio, they were able to crank out 11 (10 if you discount Cars) quality movies before Disney intervened.  Once again, when Disney showed them how much money Cars 2 could make, there isn’t much Pixar could do to protest.

If anything, this “lapse” opens the door for other animation studios to potentially get rewarded for their work.  As history showed, Academy members were not swayed by profitability—The Hurt Locker won Best Picture over Avatar, and rightfully so.  When it comes time next year, hopefully they will elect something like Kung Fu Panda 2 (which is being praised for being a good sequel) over something that was painted by the numbers.

Box Office Results [from Deadline]

1. Cars 2 3D (Pixar/Disney) NEW [4,115 Theaters]
Friday $25.7M, Saturday $23.3M, Weekend $68M

2. Bad Teacher (Sony) NEW [3,049 Theaters]
Friday $12.1M, Saturday $10.9M, Weekend $31M

3. Green Lantern 3D (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,816 Theaters]
Friday $6M, Saturday $7M, Weekend $18.3M (-65%), Cume $89.3M

4. Super 8 (Paramount) Week 3 [3,424 Theaters]
Friday $3.7M, Saturday $4.7M, Weekend $12.1M, Cume $95.1M

5. Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Fox) Week 2 [3,342 Theaters]
Friday $3.6M, Saturday $3.7M, Weekend $10.3M (-44%), Cume $39.4M

6. X-Men: First Class (Fox) Week 4 [2,633 Theaters]
Friday $2M, Saturday $2.6M, Weekend $6.6M, Cume $132.8M

7. The Hangover Part II (Legendary/Warner Bros) Week 5 [2,755 Theaters]
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.3M, Weekend $5.8M, Cume $244M

8. Bridesmaids (Universal) Week 7 [2,031 Theaters]
Friday $1.8M, Saturday $2.3M, Weekend $5.3M, Cume $146.6M

9. Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 3D (Disney) Week 6 [2,244 Theaters]
Friday $1.5M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.7M, Cume $229M

10. Midnight In Paris (Sony Classics) Week 6 [951 Theaters]
Friday $1.2M, Saturday $1.7M, Weekend $4.4M, Cume $28.5M


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