Posted by · 5:35 pm · June 18th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

Let’s be honest here. Everybody likes toys. Everybody likes Pixar movies. Everybody likes Tim Allen. These three pillars of civilization will ensure that “Toy Story 3” has a gigantic opening weekend and ignites the box office in ways that will make Jaden Smith look like “Marmaduke.”

It was fifteen years ago when “Toy Story” opened at the Thanksgiving box office and recorded a $53.3 million opening. Essentially beginning a new era of family film, the well-reviewed, Oscar nominated picture went on to gross $348.8 million and become the highest grossing film of 1995.

Four years later, a sequel intended to go straight to DVD instead came out in theaters and earned $89.8 million on opening weekend. Reviews were sensational, instantly becoming one of the most beloved sequels of all time and a final gross of $380.3 million makes it still the second biggest Pixar film ever.

The highest Pixar has reached is the $92.6 million opening and $447.9 million finish of “Finding Nemo.” The expectations are for “Toy Story 3” to topple that first figure and with reviews already bordering on ecstatic, possibly challenge the second. It’s a weak market, and if it really is true that audiences will only splash out for 3D on titles that are sure not to disappoint, then this should be the film that benefits.

I’m thinking a $115 million opening and the summer is Pixar’s oyster. Congratulations to them for apparently delivering another critical/financial smash, but how about trying something new guys? Let’s see if you can partner with the dudes who made “Meet the Spartans” and do an animated spoof film. If that comes out anything but awful, I’ll start to believe there is Jesus juice in the water at that studio.

It’s going to be a good weekend for anyone that passed on “Jonah Hex” in Hollywood. Warner Bros. decided it was a film that they needed to make and spent a small fortune to do so. They then spent a smaller fortune to re-shoot most of it and then spent next to nothing on marketing it.

Warner Bros. is no stranger to spectacular summer bombs (“Speed Racer” and “Battlefield Earth” are two of the most notorious) and they can add another to their resume here. If “Jonah Hex” makes more than $8 million this weekend, I’ll eat my hat.

“The Karate Kid” should take a direct hit from Woody and Buzz, but still have enough power to keep $30 million or so going and blitz past the $100 million mark. Anybody with the foresight to bet on that or an Algeria-England stalemate is a very rich man right now.

“The A-Team” will drop a harsher 55% to $11 million or so, which is a performance as lackluster and lifeless as England was today against Algeria. Sorry Guy, but that was dismal. At least you’ve still got South Africa, er, nevermind.

Other holdovers will mostly fall around 50% as this is the toys’ weekend through and through. Check back on Sunday to see if any records have been rewritten. In the meantime, it’s all World Cup all the time for me.

→ 18 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

18 responses so far

  • 1 6-18-2010 at 5:55 pm

    James D. said...

    I guess I need to see Toy Story 2 so I can see the movie everyone else will have seen this summer. I liked Toy Story, but some of these reviews seem insane with praise.

  • 2 6-18-2010 at 6:35 pm

    Bernard said...

    According to deadlinehollywooddaily, it looks like Jonah Hex is coming in at about 8.5 million for the weekend. So I’m curious now what condiments go well with hat…?

  • 3 6-18-2010 at 7:37 pm

    MovieMan said...

    I’ve touched on this before, but “I Am Love” is the best film of 2010, and I don’t see that changing. It is, in every way, a perfect film. It rejuvenates my hope that somewhere, a real Film is being made. Perfection.

    “Jonah Hex” is better than it’s being made out to be, but it’s still mediocre, mixing elements of the “Hellboy” films with “Hidalgo” and coming out with a painless failure.

    “Toy Story 3” is a pretty good motion picture with a great one waiting to burst out of its cocoon. I personally found the first two films superior, but this final installment is solid all the same.

  • 4 6-18-2010 at 7:47 pm

    Tye-Grr said...

    Personally, I thought ‘Toy Story 3’ was spectacular, the best of the trilogy, and I’m hoping it makes all the money it deserves. I was deeply touched by it, unlike any other film I’ve seen this year thus far, and I think Pixar just may pull off another Best Picture nomination, and it is the front-runner for Best Animated Feature. Sorry, DreamWorks. ‘Dragon’ was nice and all, but Pixar makes masterpieces.

  • 5 6-18-2010 at 10:18 pm

    Julian Stark said...

    “Toy Story 3” was truly incredible, deserving of every penny it earns.

    I really do think that it will battle “How to Train Your Dragon” for Animated Feature. However, I don’t think that either film has that trophy in the bag.

  • 6 6-18-2010 at 11:21 pm

    Ben M. said...

    I feel Toy Story 3 could even beat Iron Man 2’s opening weekend, and no matter what should easily be the summer’s biggest film overall.

    Frankly I don’t think Dragon poses any kind of threat to TS3’s reviews, box office, and franchise cache; I’m not sure I would even predict Dragon for an animated feature nom if there are only three slots (TS3, The Illusionist, and then anything else that could get in there- I currently have Legend of the Guardians as my last prediction), while TS3 will likely get a BP nom in addition to animated feature.

  • 7 6-18-2010 at 11:26 pm

    Gustavo H. Razera said...

    DRAGON is clearly a lock for a nod, 3 slots or not. A film that is beloved by the people, respected by the critics and a box-office hit.

  • 8 6-18-2010 at 11:59 pm

    Sarah El said...

    Yeah, How to Train Your Dragon is nothing to sniff at; if we want to look at critical success, it is one point below Toy Story 3 at They’re both going to be financial successes and they both come from studios that have had the most nominees in the category (Pixar’s gotten six nods and DreamWorks has gotten four, though Pixar has five wins to DreamWorks’ one). They’re both pretty much guaranteed Best Animated Picture spots. The question is about the Best Picture race and if either (or, shock of all shocks, both) will manage to break into the ten.

    Already gave my ten bucks to Toy Story 3 for the weekend, and it was worth it. I’m a bit too sentimental to judge it against How to Train Your Dragon properly, but they’re both leaps and jumps above every other film I’ve seen this year.

  • 9 6-19-2010 at 12:33 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Chad: I’ve got Holland too. Oh, the joys of a mixed heritage.

  • 10 6-19-2010 at 6:18 am

    red_wine said...

    The reviews of Toy Story 3 are so stratospheric, that I’m already beginning to think it is over-rated even without having seen it. I cannot possibly believe it can be as good as all the reviews are saying. Its the kind of reviews money can’t buy and most studios will give up an entire division for. And its not even a arty indie, its an expensive populist entertainment. It has freaking’ 8.8 on RT and though its just a stupid statistic I believe its the highest amongst modern movies. Oh as far as critics are concerned, its not even a contest against How To Train Your Dragon. The audience seems set to follow suit.

    Good that I’m going in with lowered expectations, I can only be pleasantly surprised.

    And the inevitable has happened. Armond White has written his Toy Story 3 review and caused an outrage amongst fans. I liked White’s contrarian streak but he’s getting predictable. His image is set in such a way that he can actually shock by giving a positive review to a critically acclaimed movie.

  • 11 6-19-2010 at 6:41 am

    Ben M. said...

    I don’t see how Dragon is a lock, particularly with how odd the animation noms can be (The Secret of Kells, Shark Tale, Jimmy Neutron etc). If you want a more direct comparison, The Simpsons Movie has a higher score on metacritic than Dragon, and made more money worldwide, and still lost a nom to Surf’s Up. A nomination for Dragon is certainly possible, and it won’t be a bad prediction at all at this point; but with only three slots I feel nothing but TS3 has its nom assured (if we have 5 as we did last year, then Dragon seems safe).

  • 12 6-19-2010 at 8:28 am

    Adam M. said...

    The highest Pixar has reached is the $92.6 million opening and $447.9 million finish of “Finding Nemo.”

    What? That’s not right… Unless you’re using adjusted grosses, which is more-or-less irrelevant because of TS3’s 3D ticket premiums. (Same goes for the cited figures for the first two Toy Story films… or am I missing something?)

  • 13 6-19-2010 at 8:53 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Unless you’re using adjusted grosses…”

    Chad is, and he specifies that at the start of the column every. single. week.

  • 14 6-19-2010 at 9:07 am

    Adam M. said...

    @Guy – My b. Carry on.

  • 15 6-19-2010 at 6:48 pm

    The Dude said...

    Early reports have “Toy Story 3” earning about $41 million on Friday. Chad, your $115 million estimate for the weekend looks like it’s right on the money (no pun intended).

  • 16 6-20-2010 at 5:38 am

    TJ W said...

    Where are you getting these numbers from? Pixar’s highest opening weekend was the Incredibles at just over $70 million. Toy Story 2 opened with $57.3 million and Finding Nemo with $70 million (dollars behind The Incredibles).

  • 17 6-20-2010 at 5:52 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    TJW: Again, at the top of the article:

    “*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.”

    Every. Single. Week.

  • 18 6-20-2010 at 10:00 am

    Estefan said...

    Well, it looks you won’t be having that tasty hat for lunch tomorrow. Jonah Hex made only $5 million this weekend. Ouch.

    I wonder if Jimy Wayward will be knocking on Pixar’s doors again (yep, ironic that the director of Jonah Hex was an animator on the first two Toy Stories).