Today, Toy Story 3 surpassed Finding Nemo as the top grossing domestic Pixar feature. However, as Box Office Mojo points out, “it will still rank in the bottom half in terms of estimated attendance.” In other words, an evening at the movies in the United States increasingly turns into an elitist activity for middle and upper-class audiences who can afford to pay inflated prices.
The big surprise at the box office was the stellar debut of Despicable Me which opened with an estimated $60.1 million. Even the most generous estimates pegged this in the $30-40 million range. Score one for producer-driven Katzenberg-style filmmaking. Looks like this won’t be the last we hear from Chris Meledandri and Illumination.