Pixar has a reputation for casting actors that work for its characters, rather than simply searching for celebrities to fill its roles. The studio has understood, from its first feature film, that a strong story and memorable characters are necessary to make a great film, and that those characters need to connect with the audience. Although you may recall the voices of veterans like Tom Hanks (Toy Story) and Albert Brooks (Finding Nemo), there are many other voices that are essential in bringing the story to life. Learn more about these other voices and the talented group that provides them after the break!
It is customary for films’ box office take to drop 50% or more in their second weekends, especially when considering franchises. The idea is that there is a built-in audience excited to view the films during opening weekend, and then come their second weekend, there is a significant dip in the number of interested parties. Positive word-of-mouth is a major force that prevents large drops, something we have seen often with Pixar films. In its second weekend, Monsters University performed admirably, dropping only 44%, and stayed at the top of the box office. Read about all the numbers after the break!
In speaking about the technical aspects of Pixar films, the animation is always the first to be mentioned. There are many other departments that work on these animated films, without which the films would not look or sound as great. The sound design is sadly, often overlooked, but from a Monsters University video recently released, you can see the importance and complexity of sound in a film. A scene from the first challenge of the Scare Games is used to demonstrate how the sound came together. Watch the video after the break!
Animators have a long-standing history of hiding small easter eggs for audiences to find, including references to the real world, to other films, and to famous figures. While many film studios do it (including those that produce live-action films), Pixar’s easter eggs tend to generate the most publicity. That is because there are several easter eggs that the studio hides in every single one of its films, including a nod to its upcoming films. Through personal observations and help from the fans, I have compiled a preliminary list of the easter eggs in Monsters University, which you can see after the break!
While Pixar films have received mixed responses from critics over the last few years, the general public continues to come out in droves. The Pixar brand is the strongest in Hollywood, with all 13 of its prior films debuting at the top spot of the weekend box office during their opening weekends. In North America alone, those films have together brought in over $3 billion. Monsters University, which opened this past weekend, has kept the perfect streak going, raking in approximately $82 million. Find more details after the break!
One of the biggest criticisms directed at Pixar today is that the studio has become reliant on producing sequels to its films rather than films based on original stories. We live in an era where franchises are highly sought after by major studios because they are more likely to be successful at the box office. Films such as Star Wars Episode VII and Fast & Furious 7 are currently in development and will likely bring in hundreds of millions of dollars. Audiences have a connection with the characters in franchises, hence the larger success rate. Pixar’s argument has been that it is not looking to develop sequels – it is seeking to bring great stories to the screen. Toy Story 2 and 3 were success stories. Monsters University, Pixar’s first prequel which arrives in theaters today, is another great addition to the studio’s catalog. Check out the spoiler-free review after the break!
At long last, Monsters University has been unleashed in theaters nationwide! To celebrate Pixar’s fourteenth animated feature, we’re back with a super-sized batch of Monsters Mash-Ups. So, before you head out the door to go see Pixar’s first prequel, take a moment to peruse this final batch of artwork from some of our very talented readers. This time out, Monsters take on the worlds of UP, Tangled, Speed Racer, Batman, Harry Potter and more!