Sunday, June 20, 2010

Newsy: 'Toy Story 3': Pixar's Biggest Opening Weekend Ever?

15 years after they first hit the screen, Buzz and Woody are back for another go-around, this time in 3D. 'Toy Story 3' opened Friday to rave reviews.
Toy Story 3 is opening this weekend, and after a summer of so-so box office performances, could it be a huge hit?
Reviews say the movie brings back classic characters and is appealing for both kids and adults. A staggering 100% approval rating onRotten Tomatoes means no one has panned the film yet. Critics are praising the movie for its awesome animation, its humor and its heartfelt themes. It’s even getting Oscar buzz.
MSNBC projects that this could be Pixar’s biggest opening weekend ever — that Toy Story 3 could make $90 to $100 million. A reporter says Disney has set the film up for success, especially in trying to appeal to audiences 15 years after the original came out: “Disney has done a pretty good job of keeping the Toy Story brand around for the last 10 and 15 years by having a presence of Toy Story at its theme parks, re-releasing those DVDS and last fall it re-released Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2 in theaters in 3-D. $32 million work of ticket sales were sold so it did keep people interested and engaged.”
This is the first Toy Story to be in 3-D, so tickets cost more. Will that deter audiences, or mean a bigger box office take? CNBC points out that Shrek Forever After tried the same 3-D tactic in May, and it didn’t work: “Toy Story 3 and Shrek are similar. Both are digitally animated, popular brands squeezing out third and fourth sequels. And now they are in 3-D, which means a higher ticket price. ... Disney does face the challenge of luring moviegoers back to theaters. U.S. box office is down over 6% since early May.”
The summer box office has been weak so far. The Celebrity Café says similar sequels have proved disappointing: “...many sequels have performed poorly in theaters in recent weeks, including Sex and the City 2 and Shrek Forever After. … While expectations for Toy Story 3 remain high, the current generation of young moviegoers was not around when the first two films...were released.”
But a writer for MTV News says Pixar seems to be a company to count on: “Pixar has done pretty well for itself over the last 15 years. The studio has yet to release a film that failed to hit the $360 million mark.”
So, will Toy Story 3 be a hit now, when the industry needs it, or will it be another summer sequel flop?

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