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

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: 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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