Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

June 1, 2009

Infuriated, LeBron wants to head straight to New York, but his teammate won't let him go.

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We're in Pixar's back pocket. You know it, we know it, and that guy who sent us feedback knows it.

Kim Hollis: Up, the latest movie from the wizards at Pixar, opened to $68.1 million. Is this win, lose or draw for Disney?

Josh Spiegel: Definite win. Right now, Up stands as the third-best opening for a Pixar film. Considering the fact that the film may, in some ways, be one of the least marketable films Pixar's ever made (who wants to see a movie about a grumpy senior citizen? Actually, make that two grumpy senior citizens!), the performance is very close to great. Also, when you take into account the fact that Pixar films are usually good for a opening weekend to closing multiplier of about 4, this one's a great big success for everyone involved. Finally, the best advantages that Up may have are that it has the 3-D venues wide open for the entire month of June, its next animated rival comes out in time for Independence Day, and the only other family film coming out is a weak-seeming entry starring Eddie Murphy.

David Mumpower: We're going to offer reasons as to why that have little to do with the product itself, but this is still a solid win for the best movie-making team in the world. This is Pixar's biggest opening since 2004 and is several million higher than WALL-E managed just 11 months ago. Considering that the film is about an old man who sounds just like Lou Grant and a husky 10-year-old, an opening of this scale is a remarkable feat. Yes, the fact that it's their first 3-D title does mean inflated ticket price revenue, but after Cars opened to $60.1 million, Ratatouille opened to $47.0 million and WALL-E opened to $63.1 million, Pixar has to feel good about getting back to that Finding Nemo/The Incredibles level.


I suspect we're all curious about what happens next, though. The average Pixar film in the 2000s has earned $193 million after opening weekend; however, the last three films have averaged "only" $168 million after opening weekend. So, there has been an overall decline of $25 million with the last two titles, WALL-E and Ratatouille, managing right at $160 million each. Is Up going to be the title that returns the franchise (and let's be honest here, Pixar is every bit as much a franchise as Harry Potter, Batman or anything else is) to the days of super-legs in the $190 million range? The 3-D ticket sales will help in this regard, but it bears noting that Monsters vs. Aliens, the most recent 3-D animated blockbuster, is going to wind up right at $140 million in legs after a $59.3 million debut. It wasn't summer, of course, but that's less of a factor than once was the case.

Brandon Scott: I am going to say that this is a draw. From a marketing standpoint, it was a tough film to sell and as usual the Pixar jockers are out in full force with this being an A-rated film, and all the usual hoopla that comes with it, but while I think it is a good number, it is by no means earth-shattering and I don't think this one is going to have super long legs. I expect Up to go nowhere but down in the coming weeks...hahaha, beat you all to it!

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