Tuesday, September 19, 2006
"Cars" -- Pixar's Latest Triumph
When the Pixar animated movie "Cars" opened, everyone yelled and screamed that its opening weekend wasn't big enough, that the movie didn't have the wide appeal of the other Pixar movies, that Disney had overpaid for Pixar and it was a questionable decision and on and on. They were wrong, of course. Remember the Popsurfing rule for judging box office: the only numbers that matter are the budget and the final gross. (And overseas gross and DVD sales and so on, but you get the picture -- the opening weekend is very important, but not as important as those other numbers.) "Cars" opened well, but a bit lower than the previous few Pixar movies. And so what if it had been a more modest hit? Not every Pixar movie can be a home run and hitting a double would not be a sign of the Apocalypse. That said, "Cars" IS another home run, which is amazing. It's grossed $242 million in the US. That's right in line with "Toy Story 2," ($245 mil), "Monsters Inc" ($255 mil) and "The Incredibles" ($261 mil). The wild card is "Finding Nemo," which grossed $339 mil. ("Toy Story" grossed $191 mil and Pixar's "flop" is "A Bug's Life" which hit $162 mil.) Overseas, "Cars" is cruising towards $200 mil and counting. In fact, worldwide the lesser appeal of "Cars" means it will come on the low end of total grosses. But DVD sales will be great and only an idiot would consider those numbers a failure.