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B.O. Analysis, June 29: 'Wall-E' Mania! Third-Biggest Pixar Opening Ever

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Jun 29, 2008 | 3:48pm EDT

SUNDAY 10:00 a.m. (Pacific): As I first reported Friday afternoon, Hollywood is filled with happy executives this weekend as both Disney and Universal have enormous hits on their hands. Pixar has again demonstrated its animation prowess with the impeccably reviewed Wall-E (Disney). With critics falling all over themselves to anoint the movie as a masterpiece (97 percent Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and 92 percent Positive on MetaCritic), industry estimates prove that audiences are responding in a huge way as well. Wall-E has scored a meteoric $23.1M Friday (I reported $23M Friday night), although the movie will fall short of my Friday night 3-day projection of $66M. Instead of a Saturday boost, Wall-E was a bit front-loaded, actually dipping five percent Saturday to $22M or so. Still, with a revised three-day estimate of $62.5M, the Andrew Stanton-written and directed film becomes the all-time third-biggest Pixar opening.

ALL-TIME BEST PIXAR OPENINGS

1. The Incredibles - $70.4M opening

2. Finding Nemo - $70.2M opening

3. Wall-E - $62.5M opening (estimate)

4. Monsters, Inc. - $62.5M opening

5. Cars - $60.1M opening

6. Toy Story 2 - $57.3M opening (1st weekend wide)

7. Ratatouille - $47M opening

8. A Bug's Life - $33.1M opening (1st weekend wide)

9. Toy Story - $29.1M opening

This Chaplinesque story of planet earth’s last robot is unlikely material for a summer animation blockbuster, but this is Pixar. Wall-E also marks the big screen’s return of Oscar winning writer/director Andrew Stanton, who may have artistically outdone his brilliant 2003 animated classic Finding Nemo. If the three-day number holds, Wall-E will deliver the all-time 7th-best animated opening and the all-time No. 3 opening for an original non-sequel animated film.

ALL-TIME TOP 10 ANIMATED OPENINGS

1. Shrek The Third - $121.6M

2. Shrek 2 - $108M

3. The Simpsons Movie - $74M

4. The Incredibles - $70.4M

5. Finding Nemo - $70.2M

6. Ice Age: The Meltdown - $68M

7. Wall-E - $62.5M (estimate)

8. Monsters, Inc. - $62.5M

9. Cars - $60.1M

10. Madagascar - $47.2M

There is plenty of good news to go around this weekend as Universal has scored huge with Wanted, starring Oscar winner Angelina Jolie and quickly rising actor James McAvoy. With a strong R-rating, Wanted is aimed at grown-ups, especially men, and critics have been generally very positive (74 percent Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and 64 percent Positive on MetaCritic). This high octane Matrix-style action film from Russian director Timur Bekmambetov grabbed a spectacular $19.17M on Friday, according to Universal (I reported $18.5M Friday night), and, after scoring another $17.55M Saturday (down 8 percent), it is likely headed for $51.11M by Monday morning. That will easily give Wanted the all-time best June opening for an R-rated movie, coasting past last year’s Universal comedy Knocked Up.

ALL-TIME TOP 5 R-RATED JUNE OPENINGS

1. Wanted - $51.1M (estimate)

2. Knocked Up - $30.69M 

3 The Happening - $30.51M

4. Total Recall - $25.53M

5. The Rock - $25M

Universal will be thinking ‘franchise,’ and they should be. This completely original movie will have posted the all-time seventh-best opening for an R-rated movie.

ALL-TIME BEST TOP 10 R-RATED OPENINGS

1. The Matrix Reloaded - $91.77M

2. The Passion of the Christ - $83.84M

3. 300 - $70.88M

4. Hannibal - $58M

5. 8 Mile - $51.24M

6. Matrix Revolutions - $48.47M

7. Wanted - $51.1M (estimate)

8.Troy - $46.86M

9. American Pie II - $45.11M

10. American Gangster - $43.56M 

And for JolieWanted marks her best live action opening since 2006’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and it will likely be her all-time second-best opening.

ALL-TIME TOP 10 LIVE-ACTION ANGELINA JOLIE OPENINGS

1. Mr. & Mrs. Smith - $50.34M

2. Wanted - $51.1M (estimate)

3. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - $47.73M

4. Gone in 60 Seconds - $25.33M

5. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life - $21.78M

6. The Bone Collector - $16.71M

7. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - $15.58M

8. Alexander - $13.68M

9. Taking Lives - $11.45M

10. The Good Shepherd - $9.91M

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Warner Bros has a solid grasp on the 3rd spot for the day and the weekend with holdover Get Smart. The PG-13-rated comedy managed an estimated $20M for the weekend for a new 10-day cume of $77M. 

Kung Fu Panda (Dreamworks/Paramount), with plenty of competition from Disney/Pixar's little robot, is holding up pretty well. Kung Fu Panda grabbed $3.5M on Friday, and it will likely reach $11.74M for the frame. With plans for a sequel underway, the Jack Black-voiced roly poly martial arts trainee will have generated just under $180M by Monday.

Unfortunately for Marvel, Incredible Hulk (Universal) appears to have taken another steep drop. The big green guy was down 58 percent from its second weekend to $9.22M. That would bring the new Hulk's domestic cume to just over $115M, making it difficult for Incredible Hulk to match the $134M that Ang Lee's Hulk generated 5 years ago. I am projecting about $128M-$132M for Marvel's second self-financed, self-produced movie.

Finally, I am told that Paramount’s disappointing Mike Myers comedy Love Guru has slipped out of the top five with a dismal $5.44M and a new total domestic gross of just over $25.32M.

REVISED THREE-DAY ESTIMATES

1. NEW! Wall-E (Disney) - $62.5M, $15,656 PTA, $62.5M cume 

2. NEW! Wanted (Universal) - $51.1M, $16,100 PTA, $51.1M cume

3. Get Smart (Warner Bros) - $20M, $5,109 PTA, $77.2M cume

4. Kung Fu Panda (Dreamworks/Paramount) - $11.7M, $3,201 PTA, $179.3M cume

5. Incredible Hulk (Universal) - $9.2M, $2,755 PTA, $115.5M cume 

6. Love Guru  (Paramount) - $5.4M, $21,806 PTA, $25.3M cume 

7. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount) - $5M, $1,968 PTA, $299.9M cume 

8.The Happening (Fox) - $3.8M, $1,551 PTA, $69M cume   

9. Sex and the City (Sony) - $3.7M, $2,148 PTA, $140.1M cume 

10. You Don't Mess With The Zohan (Sony) - $3.2M, $1,490 PTA, $91.2M cume 

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