‘Up’ becomes Pixar’s second-highest grosser ever

Posted by · 10:22 am · July 5th, 2009

UpI expect Chad may get into some of this later in today’s Sunday Cents column (unless his silly inflation observation gets in the way), but Pixar’s “Up” grossed another $6.5 million today, bringing the domestic total to $264.8 million, surpassing the $261.4 million “The Incredibles” racked up in the fall of 2004 to become the studio’s second-highest domestic grosser ever behind 2003’s “Finding Nemo.”

I would assume the answer here is lack of demographic comeptition to an extent.  “Monsters vs. Aliens” was the only animated film within earshot of “Up”‘s May 29 release date until “Ice Age” came along this weekend.  And there hasn’t been much else for the kids beyond “Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian.”  That’s a solid month of focused box office play for the film.

Obviously “Nemo”‘s $339.7 million is safe and will likely remain safe for a long time to come (and it’s worth noting that “Up” opened in the same frame), but Pixar’s latest has nevertheless become a personal record-breaking success for the studio?  And yet it’s not even in the top 25 for the decade, which tells you the leaps and bounds box office has made in the last 10 years.

So, congrats to all involved.  Well-deserved.  Check out my interview with “Up” director Pete Docter here if you missed it.




→ 20 Comments Tags: , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

20 responses so far

  • 1 7-05-2009 at 10:27 am

    ScottC said...

    If what you are talking about is an explicitly monetary measure, how is adjusting for inflation “silly”? And if you don’t adjust for it, well, no wonder the top 25 of the decade appear unusually high.

  • 2 7-05-2009 at 10:33 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m just giving Chad shit, Scott. But since you asked, I think it’s all ultimately a wash anyway. I’d be much more interested in number of tickets sold as a true barometer, but that’s obviously never going to happen.

    But that’s me.

  • 3 7-05-2009 at 10:54 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Yeah. Still only number 7 adjusted.

  • 4 7-05-2009 at 11:05 am

    Adam M. said...

    The numbers are definitely off: ticket prices continue to skyrocket, and a lot of Up’s extra revenue came from premium-priced tickets for 3D showings.

    Anyone have the data that takes these factors into account?

  • 5 7-05-2009 at 11:09 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Tickets Sold-

    1. Finding Nemo 56.3 mil
    2. Toy Story 47.8 mil
    3. Monsters, Inc. 45.1 mil
    4. Toy Story 43.9 mil
    5. The Incredibles 42.0 mil
    6. Cars 37.3 mil
    7. Up 36.9 mil
    8. A Bug’s Life 34.1 mil
    9. Wall-E 31.2 mil
    10. Ratatouille 30.0 mil

  • 6 7-05-2009 at 11:14 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Another issue for me is that I don’t believe the relationship between the dollar and the price of a ticket is the same today as it was in the past.

    Thanks for the tickets-sold numbers, Chad. Where do those numbers come from?

  • 7 7-05-2009 at 11:15 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    And what the heck did Nemo tap into back in 2003 anyway? It’s certainly the most visually fetching Pixar movie yet, maybe it just caught more eyes.

  • 8 7-05-2009 at 11:22 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I think the easy answer is just Nemo had the best mix of humor and heart. That movie is downright funny from beginning to end.

  • 9 7-05-2009 at 11:35 am

    Adam M. said...

    Here are the domestic Pixar numbers roughly adjusted for inflation:

    Finding Nemo – $404,503,075
    Toy Story 2 – $343,427,752
    Monsters, Inc. – $324,015,862
    Toy Story – $316,574,012
    The Incredibles – $301,792,129
    Cars – $267,559,666
    Up – $264,873,000
    A Bug’s Life – $244,538,430
    WALL-E – $223,808,164
    Ratatouille – $215,447,645

    Not as impressive =/

  • 10 7-05-2009 at 12:53 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    Im not sure how safe nemo is Kris, im thinking if its ever gonna be topped Toy Story 3 is certainly the movie thats going to do it

  • 11 7-05-2009 at 12:57 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’d agree with that. The rest of the studio’s upcoming flicks don’t seem to have the same immediate appeal, but “Newt” could tap into a marketing phenomenon in a perfect storm.

  • 12 7-05-2009 at 1:03 pm

    j said...

    I hate Finding Nemo; it’s my least-favorite Pixar movie. The only redeeming qualities are Ellen and the imagery.
    Interesting that, accordingly, my favorite movie has gotten the least amount of money adjusted for inflation.

  • 13 7-05-2009 at 1:13 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    If only they’d release it like, anywhere else in the world. Christ, this is an awful wait.

    So could Toy Story 3 break the record nest year?

  • 14 7-05-2009 at 1:14 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Wow, j. On that we completely disagree. I haven’t met anyone who “hated” the film, though.

    Doubly intriguing since your #1 is my #2.

  • 15 7-05-2009 at 1:25 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Well, J also “hates” Roger Federer, so clearly there’s lots of ill feeling to go around today.

  • 16 7-05-2009 at 3:09 pm

    Brian said...

    How can anyone hate “Nemo”?

    And I think TS3 has a good shot at beating “Nemo” if reviews are stellar.

  • 17 7-05-2009 at 5:49 pm

    Glenn said...

    I tend to find the adjusted for inflation numbers just as misjudged as those that are not. If tickets for “Up” were as cheap as they were when “Toy Story” came around then I think it most definitely would have sold more tickets.

    And then there’s the fact that it’s just how much the movie made. If a movie made $50m in 1960 that’s impressive, yes, but that’s what it made in 1960. It’s disingenuous to then go around claiming it actually made $190m or whatever it would equal. It didn’t make $190m. The studio did not write $190m into the books. The number it made is a indicator of it’s success at the time. If a movie made $50m back then I doubt it would make $190m today (or, again, however much $50m would adjust to). The movie world is completely different and a movie that made $50m “back in the day” would be made, marketed and distributed differently.

    “Success” is based on how.much.money.it.made. Annoying, perhaps, but that’s how it works and with things such as DVD and incredibly expensive ticket prices today, I think if a movie can make as much money as “Up” has then it should be able to claim it without having to have seven different asterisks next to it “Wasn’t released when tickets were 20 cents”, “Wasn’t Re-Released 10 Times over Thirty Years” etc.

    I’m curious about those “tickets sold” figures. I never see tickets sold figures anywhere. How is anyone to know the number of tickets when you factor in matinees, 3D, IMAX, discounts and any other variable. And judging a film based on tickets sold is also a tough area. Books are generally not such an expensive medium (they don’t require $100s of millions of dollars to produce) and their distribution is simple compared to films, plus they can remain in print for decades so a book that’s 40 years old can still be in the best sellers and prices can be all over the place. But it’s not like the companies aren’t working out how much money they made to the nearest cent.

  • 18 7-06-2009 at 4:13 pm

    Kyle said...

    Toy Story 3 is going to obliterate Nemo’s Pixar record and various other animation records. Toy Story 3 will be the “Phantom Menace”of animated movies in terms of prerelease hype and anticipation. I’m just hoping it doesn’t match Phantom Menace quality. Nemo benefited from the lack of competition back in 2003. It didn’t have anything like Transformers 2, Ice Age 3, and Potter 6 to contend with towards the back-end of it’s box office run, and CG animation is more of a novelty then unlike nowadays wherein they are a dime a dozen. I did like Nemo, but it’s no.5 in my list of Pixar faves.

  • 19 7-07-2009 at 3:06 pm

    j said...

    I hope Up gets $302 mil to be in the top half of Pixar releases.

  • 20 8-17-2009 at 11:00 am

    j said...

    Worldwide, unadjusted, Ratatouille is #3. Unadjusted it’s 3rd-worst in the US, so it probably moves up at least a couple spots vs. US ranking.