Movie-goers regularly complain that there aren't enough original films finding their ways to theaters these days - so when a non-sequel, non-adaptation movie is breaking records, that's a pretty big deal. That's why we should all be celebrating the success of Pixar's Inside Out this weekend, as the film's box office numbers in its first three days have made it the highest grossing original, non-sequel property opening ever.
The box office numbers are in, and while it's notable that Inside Out is the first Pixar movie to ever open at number two at the box office, the folks at Disney and Pixar really have nothing to complain about. While initial estimates had said the movie would only make as little as $60 million in its first frame, instead it turned out to be a spectacular hit that earned $91 million - helping it top James Cameron's Avatar in the aforementioned category.
Looking at the best opening weekends of all time, it's actually amazing to see both how far down on the list both Inside Out and Avatar are. Overall, the new Pixar film had the 41st best opening of all time, and Avatar is 65th on the same list. Interestingly, the third in the non-adaptation/non-sequel rankings is Pixar's The Incredibles - which is ranked 77th all time thanks to it making $70.4 million back in 2004.
Box office analysts short-changed Inside Out simply because Jurassic World was such a monster last week - but what's really impressive is that both movies wound up performing fantastically. Inside Out is actually Pixar's second biggest opening ever as a studio - behind only Toy Story 3 - and Jurassic World is only the second movie in history to make more than $100 million in its second weekend (though it didn't beat The Avengers' $103 million score from 2012).
So why was Inside Out so successful? There are two obvious elements that stick out. The first is that the animated movie is a good deal more family-friendly than Jurassic World is, and a family outing to the movie theater is a nice number of built-in ticket sales. Of course, there is also the incredible buzz that the movie has managed to collect. Critics - including myself - have ranked the title as one of the best to come out of Pixar, and it currently has a 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (with only four negative reviews counted). This is the kind of buzz that gets movie-goers without kids into the theaters on opening weekend, and it looks like they definitely showed up.
Did you help contribute to Inside Out's record-breaking success this weekend? Do you see it as a positive sign for the future of original movies? Hit the comments below with your thoughts, and join me in waiting for the next big non-adaptation/non-sequel to break the Pixar movie's record.