April 16, 2014

‘Brave’ Opens To $66 Million – Pixar Continues To Be A Force At The Box Office

Pixar has been enjoying an incredible run of success stories, dating all the way back to Toy Story, its first feature film, and the first feature-length computer animated film in the industry. Before this weekend, the studio had released 12 feature films in theaters, and all 12 of them had opened at the number one slot at the box office during its opening weekend. Pixar seems unstoppable in that department, as Brave officially lengthened that streak to 13, bringing in over $66 million in North America this weekend.

According to Box Office Mojo, Brave took in $66,323,594 in the three day stretch. Often, family films (including the computer animated kind) enjoy a bump in their numbers on Saturdays during the opening weekend, with many more families represented in the audience. However, Pixar films are unique, in that many loyal viewers of the brand often see the film on opening day, leading to a slight drop in attendance on Saturday. The final numbers for the weekend are:

  • Friday - $24,635,336
  • Saturday - $23,682,115
  • Sunday - $18,006,143


Looking at the Pixar catalog, Brave falls right around the middle in opening weekend box office performance. Toy Story 3 is the clear leader (a feat that may stand for quite some time, considering the public’s strong connection with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang) with over $110 million in its opening frame. Here is the chart for Pixar films’ opening weekends (via Box Office Mojo):

  1. Toy Story 3………….$110,307,189
  2. The Incredibles…….$70,467,623
  3. Finding Nemo………$70,251,710
  4. Up……………………..$68,108,790
  5. Brave………………….$66,323,594
  6. Cars 2…………………$66,135,507
  7. WALL-E……………….$63,087,526
  8. Monsters, Inc………..$62,577,067
  9. Cars……………………$60,119,509
  10. Toy Story 2…………..$57,388,839
  11. Ratatouille……………$47,027,395
  12. A Bug’s Life………….$33,258,052
  13. Toy Story……………..$29,140,617

Comparing the 3D vs 2D audience, Variety reports that an estimated 34% of the audience viewed the film in 3D, compared to an average of 50% for other family films. With more viewers actively avoiding 3D showings, it will be interesting to observe how the studios react. Computer animated films often look better when rendered in 3D, as opposed to live-action films that are post-converted to the format. Pixar’s method has always been to subtly infuse 3D into its films, as to avoid jarring the audience out of the story because objects are flying out of the screen at them – the 3D effect is more noticeable when the story shifts into action sequences.

With studios hoping that computer animation would continue to bring in audiences for the 3D format, they will no doubt be paying close attention to the performance of upcoming family films’ 3D showings.

Bottom line – Pixar continues to be a force at the box office, as its releases always seem to be accompanied by buzz that generates excitement and translates into box office success. Audiences’ positive reactions to Brave seem to be outweighing the negative responses, so there will likely be strong word-of-mouth and another weekend of the film being king (queen?) of the box office.

About Samad Rizvi

Samad is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Pixar Times. His favorite films include The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Vertigo, Back to the Future, Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, and of course, Pixar's Monsters, Inc., WALL-E and Up.