May 29, 2017

“Toy Story 3” is also number 1 … as well as number 2

By Sean O’Connell As the weekend box office estimates roll in, Pixar Animated Studio’s spectacular “Toy Story 3” passes another significant milestone, while another potential record remains in the distance.

The computer-animated sequel, the third in the “Toy Story” series but Pixar’s 11th overall feature film, has earned an estimated $362.7 million in domestic grosses. That makes it the highest-ranking box office champ at Pixar, ahead of longtime receipts leader “Finding Nemo,” which has a current cume of $339.7 million.

And “TS3” isn’t slowing down, having pulled in $11.7 million over the weekend — its fifth week of release — which was good enough for a fifth place finish in the top 10. It is competing with “Despicable Me” for the family dollar, and might even have lost a few bucks to Disney’s live action “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

But “TS3” remains on a healthy track. It’s currently the highest grossing film of 2010, ahead of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which made $334.1 million for Disney (and, like “Toy Story,” enjoyed a bump from increased 3-D ticket prices). And I’m not sure what else could catch up to it, knowing that the “Harry Potter” films — of which we’ll see a new one in November — tend to hit the ceiling at around $280 million.

There is one record “TS3” might not match, however. While it is Pixar’s highest-grossing comuter animated feature film, it is not THE highest-grossing computer animated film. That distinction still belongs to “Shrek 2,” which boasts a staggering $441.2 million box office total. And unless “TS3” finds late legs, I don’t see it catching up to the jolly green leader.

Does it matter? No. Pixar should turn its focus away from the box office race and concentrate on earning a different feather for its cap, one “Shrek 2” could not score: a Best Picture trophy.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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