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Pixar’s “Brave” Dominates At Box Office

Animated films ruled the US box office last weekend, capturing the top two places. Brave, directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, grossed $66.3 million in its debut. That figure is virtually identical to last summer’s Cars 2, slightly better than WALL•E and slightly lower than Up. The real test will be in the weeks ahead, as we’ll watch to see whether it has box office legs like Toy Story 3 and Up or plummets quickly like Cars 2.

DreamWorks’ Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which debuted with $60.3 million three weekends ago, beat out newcomers like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and captured $19.7 million for a strong second place showing. With $157 million in the bank already, the film is on a pace to beat the domestic grosses of the first two entries in the Madagascar series.

  • feep

    f**k yeah animation.

    • wever

      YEEEAH! Animation is WUZZ UUUUUP!

      I hope we get more box office moments like this!

  • OtherDan

    Makes me think of that line in The Incredibles, “…Money, Money, Money, Money”. “Brave” unquestionably was a better movie than “Madagascar 3” (saw that one too). The box office return seems like a direct result of marketing and exposure, and less about the merits of a movie. Maybe you should be comparing the marketing machines rather than the movies themselves. It’s a shame that marketing overshadows content-our political system has the same basic problem. If we’re going to observe these waves, we should be more critical than just illuminating the gross figures as a measure of success.

    • Funkybat

      It’s not *just* the marketing. For one thing, the “Pixar Brand” carries a lot of weight, even if all the “marketing” consisted of was a blank poster with only the words “New Pixar Movie” and a release date on it. The other factor is that it truly is a beautiful-looking film, with a lot of great character animation and character design. That comes through no matter how good or bad the marketing approach is handled. Story is something that isn’t usually discovered until one sees the film itself, or if they read a lot of reviews and spoilers. Knowing the spoilers didn’t stop me from seeing it, and I’m glad I did. It’s not Pixar’s greatest, but it’s certainly not a disaster propped up only by marketing.

    • Zac

      I didn’t get the impression he was comparing the movies to each other at all. Just stating their individual successes.

      Besides being an interesting factoid and a symbol of the studios success, reading dollar signs doesn’t really do much for me, though. Ticket prices vary so much across the country, depending on when, where and what format you see it in. I’d be more curious to hear about how many tickets were sold and what percentage saw it in stereo3D, rather than how much money it made. I don’t know if those statistics are readily available though..

      • Funkybat

        I agree that the larger point of using box office as a measure of overall merit is ridiculous. I have a buddy who always looks first at box office when determining if a film was “successful.” He then looks at genre and word of mouth, I guess he thinks that any movie that draws huge numbers of people must be worth watching, and movies that “didn’t make any money” are just not worth bothering to see.

        Let’s just say he is in many ways much more representative of the general public than most film geeks, something that saddens me when I contemplate it.

      • OtherDan

        I pretty much agree with you two. I wasn’t complaining about Amid arguing which was a better movie (based on box-office). But, discussing box office figures as it relates between Brave and Madagascar 3 (for example) means nothing to me with regards to which was a better movie. I guess I believe that the general public and media sources put too much emphasis on it as a measure of success. And, that kind of “success” only motivates studios/distributers to follow suit and produce more of the money making variety compared to the movies that were probably much richer ones in broader terms. And, I think that’s messed up, because that kind of success is more dependent on marketing and exposure than the films themselves. So, I think if you’re going to highlight and talk about box office figures, you have to also include/factor in production and marketing costs to get a truer picture or comparison.

  • Great

    Don’t forget Steve Purcell! :)

  • E. Nygma

    Beautiful Film. I am truly stumped that Madagascar 3 came so close with it’s debut and actually got a higher rotten tomatoes score.

    I think this is a clear case of rating Brave in comparison to previous Pixar films instead of as a film on it’s own, whereas Madagascar 3 got a higher rating when compared to the last 2 horrible Madagascar films.

    IMO Brave is in a whole other stratosphere compared to Madagascar 3 just in adult watchability alone, not to mention better story, animation, moral and coherency.

    However I think both films should lose awards to Arrietty. While I liked the animation in Brave more, overall story, pace and maturity goes to Ghibli this year IMO. Plus, the BG’s in that movie were gorgeous. Whose with me….

  • M.V

    It should have no problem keeping number #1 this weekend as well. “ted” is its only real competition and its R rating will hold it down. Unless i’m underestimating America’s apatite for male strippers.

    • Steve Gattuso

      There’s definitely a market for the immature antics of eternal adolescents, and since Adam Sandler’s flick didn’t capture their stunted imaginations, perhaps a foul-mouthed teddy bear will.

  • It’s a fantastic film, no doubt. Although I’m kind of flabbergasted that so many reviewers are hacking the film to pieces as a superficial realignment of gender roles. You must be a fool if you think that BRAVE is all about gender policing. Empathy? Familial compassion? Attitude? Regret? The illusion of maturity? The dangers of pride? Yeah, must have missed all that.

    • Wellll mostly criticisms come from the fact, and after seeing the film they’re not groundless, is about uneven (though not spoiling) pacing and predictability. Somthing made further obvious by the fact that it’s a genre done a lot in Fairy Tales.

      Now I personally think 75% is pretty low, I would’ve said 88%. Pixar just has high expectations on it now :)

    • Sarah J

      Most of the negative reviews have to do with the film’s pacing and other technical problems. I think the expectations for the movie also held it down. The ads made it look like it was going to be this big, epic, fairy-tale adventure, when it was really a mother-daughter bonding story in a fantasy setting, which is fine and all, but when you go into the movie after being told it was about a big, epic quest to break a curse, it kind of disappoints.

  • jeoff

    “Good artists borrow, and great artists steal” –well almost everything about “Brave” feels borrowed—a little Disney Princess, a little Brother Bear, train your Dragon ect.. Pixar prettiness can’t save an uncompelling story, and only slightly interesting characters. Not a bad movie–arguably a good movie–but not Pixar good. And I DO think Madagascar 3 was the better movie– while not as well crafted, it was more inventive and entertaining than Brave, surreal fun, with likable characters, and enough story to hold it all together.