After an 11-year-sabbatical from animation, during which time he explored live-action filmmaking, Brad Bird has made a triumphant return to cartoondom by breaking the all-time domestic box office record for the opening weekend of an animated film.
The Incredibles 2 grossed $182.6 million over the weekend, handily topping the previous record-holder, Finding Dory, which launched with $135 million in 2016. Bird’s sequel beat the inflation-adjusted animation record-holder as well — that would be Shrek the Third, whose 2007 opening stands at an adjusted gross of $151 million.
The opening weekend of Incredibles 2, the 8th-biggest of all-time, can be attributed not only to the pent-up demand for another film about the Parr superhero family, but also the demand for animated films themselves. Bizarrely, there has not been a major animation release in 2,000+ theaters since Sherlock Gnomes was released on March 23. Why haven’t the major studios released a film in nearly three months? There’s no conspiracy, but it’s simply a reminder of how underrepresented animation is at the domestic box office.