Monsters at the gate!

Monsters Inc. produced a monstrous box office over the weekend
— an estimated $63.4 million, the biggest gate ever for the opening of
an animated movie, the biggest for an opening of a Disney release, and
the biggest for a film opening in November.

Today’s Wall
Street Journal
observed that the figure “was substantially better
than most Hollywood handicappers predicted.”

“There’s something about
the Pixar/Disney partnership,” Exhibitor Relations chief Paul
Dergarabedian told the Associated Press. “Everything that they do with
these films seems to exactly capture what kids are looking for.”

In a
separate interview with the New York Daily News, Dergarabedian
added: “Expectations are always high for any new Disney animation, but
this is monumental. The ad campaign was, obviously, perfect. I think
every kid in America wanted to see Monsters this weekend.”

total take for the top 12 films, an estimated $136.7 million, was 43
percent above the same weekend a year ago, when Charlie’s Angels
debuted with $40 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates
compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

1. Monsters Inc., $63.5
million; 2. The One, $20 million; 3. Domestic Disturbance,
$14.5 million; 4. K-PAX, $10.7 million; 5. Thirteen Ghosts, $7.9
million; 6. Riding in Cars With Boys, $4.5 million; 7. From Hell, $3.7 million; 8. Training Day, $3.2 million; 9.
Bandits, $3 million; 10. Serendipity, $2.5 million.