Someone forget to tell Riley and her emotional pals from “Inside Out” that this wasn’t their weekend at the box office.
Pixar Animation’s 3D family film shot to a stunning $34.2 million Friday, knocking Universal’s record-breaking “Jurassic World’ dinosaurs from No. 1, at least for a day. The sci-fi sequel’s raging reptiles took in $28.9 million on Friday but will have to rally to capture the weekend.
Universal’s projections have the Colin Trevorrow-directed thriller starring Christ Pratt coming in with around $103 million for the three days, which would tie “The Avengers” record for the best second weekend ever. Disney’s “Inside Out” is projected to finish with around $90 million, which would be the second-best opening ever for a Pixar movie — behind only the $41.1 million of “Toy Story 3” in 2010 — and Riley and her many moods have definitely made it a race this weekend.
A “Jurassic World” weekend victory presumes the sequel to Steven Spielberg‘s 1993 sci-fi classic wins Saturday and Sunday, and the dinos have been playing to very broad audiences on their record-breaking rampage. They have made more money at the box office faster than any movie ever has. and will top $400 million domestically and well above that internationally by Sunday.
But family films typically have the edge on those days, and it’s conceivable that “Inside Out” — which will top analysts’ projections by more than $20 million and received an “A” CinemaScore from moviegoers — will confound the experts who projected it would be the first of 15 Pixar movies not to open at No. 1 on its opening weekend.
“Inside Out” is set in a young girl’s mind, where five emotions — Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Sadness — battle it out. Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kahling, Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black top the voice cast. The idea came from Pete Doctor, who directs along Ronnie del Carmen and producer Jonas Rivera. He also wrote the screenplay with Josh Cooley and Meg LaFauve. The production budget was $175 million.
One sure winner is the overall box office which, with the top two movies heading for nearly $200 million on their own, is pacing a massive 70 percent over the comparable weekend last year. That will keep 2015 on track to the biggest year at the domestic box office in history.
The weekend’s other wide opener, the Sundance hit “Dope,” brought in $2.3 million on Friday and is heading for $6 million and fifth place in its first weekend for Open Road Films. That would be at the low end of expectations for the comedy-drama about an inner-city teen (Shameik Moore) trying to get into college, written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa.
The R-rated “Dope” averaged roughly $1,165 on its 2,002 theaters, far fewer than “Jurassic World” (4,291) and “Inside Out” (3,948), and didn’t benefit from the 3D, Premium Large Format and IMAX theaters and their ticket up-charges like those films. “Jurassic World” averaged $6,755 per theater, “Inside Out” $8,680.
Melissa McCarthy‘s R-rated comedy “Spy” is looking at around $10 million and third place, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s “San Andreas” heading for $8 million and fourth for Warner Bros. Both held well and “Spy” will be up to nearly $75 million domestically after three weeks for Fox by Sunday, while “San Andreas” should hit $13o million after four weeks for Warner Bros.