Last weekend a lot of people were ready to get in touch with their feelings, when Pixar Animation Studios' new film Inside Out hit theaters and, though it was outpaced by Jurassic World, still scored a hugely impressive $90.4 million at the domestic box office and $132 million globally.
Inside Out is something of a rarity among summer blockbusters, since it's an entirely original story that isn't a sequel, a remake, a reboot, an adaptation or a new iteration of an established franchise. Directed by Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen, the film focuses on an 11 year-old girl called Riley who moves to a new home in San Francisco and struggles to deal with the changes in her life. It also takes part partly inside Riley's head, where a group of anthropomorphic emotions try to help her keep it together.
Disney and Pixar have now proudly announced that Inside Out's opening weekend box office results mean that the film has achieved the biggest box office opening for any original movie, and the second highest opening for any Pixar movie. In the latter category it falls behind Toy Story 3, which grossed over $110 million during its opening weekend and went on to gross over $1 billion worldwide. Even if Inside Out doesn't hit that milestone, it's still sure to perform very well by the end of its theatrical run.
This news also highlights the somewhat shocking fact that the top 40 box office openings were all non-original films, which is something to keep in mind when questioning Hollywood's love of sequels and remakes. The #1 spot is held by Inside Out's neighbor, Jurassic World, while Inside Out itself sits at #41. Prior to last weekend, the top spot for original movies was held by James Cameron's Avatar.
Inside Out was no doubt helped by the fact that, despite being an original story, it's tied into the Pixar brand (as evidenced by the number of Easter eggs and references it contains) and Pixar has long been setting high standards in animation. Had Inside Out been the product of a relatively unknown studio, it may not have enjoyed the same kind of popularity.
That said, this is still a great achievement and Inside Out has also been enjoying an extremely positive critical response. Not every Disney-backed original movie is a guaranteed hit (just ask Tomorrowland), but hopefully this success will encourage more studios to back original ideas.
Let us know in the comments if you were one of the many people who saw Inside Out over the weekend, and what you thought of the latest offering from Pixar.
Inside Out is now playing in 2D and 3D theaters.