SUNDAY AM: North American box office numbers show that No. 1 Disney / Pixar’s futuristic Wall-E blasted off with a $23.1 million Friday and $22 million Saturday from 3,992 theaters for what was a $62.5 million opening weekend. This means arty Wall-E is big and transcended from a kids movie into a four-quadrant hit. But it wasn’t quite the $70+M record breaker everyone thought it would be. Still, it was the 3rd biggest Pixar opening (behind The Incredibles at $70.5M and Finding Nemo at $70.2M, but equal to Monsters Inc. at $62.5M) and the 7th all-time animated opening. And its opening day gross was the biggest of all nine Pixar titles ($23.1M, which passed The Incredibles‘ $20.5 million of 2004) and its opening weekend the 2nd best overall for June (behind Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban‘s $93.7M). Disney is looking for a Best Picture Oscar nomination for the computer-generated G-rated toon, very possible with 97% great reviews from top critics and even rival studio bigwigs gushing: “It’s just adorable and smart and interesting. It has more character development and emotion than any movie I’ve seen this year.” One wrinkle in Wall-E‘s marketing was that the 1 hour, 37 minute pic has no dialogue for the first 40 or so minutes. And it can be hard to find something funny to say from a character who doesn’t talk.
More and more, films with different ratings and different genres can happily coexist at the box office — Alvin And The Chipmunks and I Am Legend, American Gangster and Bee Movie. So Wanted, Universal’s Angelina Jolie/James McAvoy starrer, debuted to $19.1M Friday and $17.5M Saturday from 3,175 venues for a $51.1M weekend. It marks a new franchise for the studio which expected only $35+M from this stylish summer actioner fueled by the Matrix-like high octane provided by hot Russian director Timur Bekmambetov. It turned out to be the best June opening ever for an R-rated movie, beating Knocked Up‘s $30.6M, and the 6th highest R-rated opening of all time (behind The Matrix Reloaded, The Passion Of The Christ, 300, Hannibal, and Sex And The City) as well as the 3rd biggest R-rated action film (behind The Matrix Reloaded‘s $91.7M, and 300‘s $70.9M). It’s also the biggest opening ever for a live-action Angelina movie and she proved a big draw: the studio said the main reasons given for choosing to see Wanted were the action (67%) and Jolie (61%). Exit polling showed the audience breakdown was 52%/48% male to female, 51%/49% under age 30 to over age 30.
Warner Bros comedy Get Smart took No. 3 with $6.5M Friday and $7.8M Saturday for a $21M FSS (-45% from its opening) and new cume of $77.2M. At No. 4, DreamWorks Animation / Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda took in $3.4M Friday and $4.5M Saturday for a $11.7M weekend and $179.3M cume. And in the 5th slot, Universal’s The Incredible Hulk managed $2.8M Friday and $3.8M Saturday for a $9.7M weekend and new cume of $116M. A Paramount’s The Love Guru dropped 61% from its opening for No. 6 with $1.8M Friday and $1.9M Saturday for a $5.4M weekend and cume of $25.4M.
The rest of the Top 10: At No. 7, Paramount’s Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull took in $1.3M Friday and $2.1M Saturday for a $5M weekend with a cume that is about to zoom over $300M. M Night Shymalan’s The Happening for Fox was No. 8 with $1.1M Friday and $1.5M Saturday and $3.8M for the weekend, with a new cume of $59M. At No. 9 was HBO Films / New Line/ Warner Bros’ Sex And The City which earned $1.1M Friday and $1.4M Saturday for a $3.7M weekend and new cume of $140.1M. And in 10th, Sony’s You Don’t Mess With The Zohan made $990K Friday and $1.2M Saturday for a $3.2 weekend and $91.2M cume.
Overall, the domestic gross this weekend was up 20% over last year’s to complete the June sweep . No reason to think July won’t keep the winning streak going.