Toy Story shatters record

Toy Story 3 logged the biggest debut in June
history, taking in $109 million this weekend and extending Pixar’s streak of
opening at the top of the box office to 11.

The last film of the franchise,
which debuted 15 years ago and introduced Pixar Animation Studios to the world,
bested its competition — and predecessors — by a mile. The original movie
opened to $39.1 million in 1995, while Toy Story 2 did $83 million four years
later.

This time around, the cartoon added
3-D and Imax to the mix, boosting repeat business as kids checked out the film
in different formats. The movie became Imax’s biggest animated movie on record,
taking in

“Given the history of Toy
Story, it was great to be invited to the club,” says Greg Foster of Imax.
The film trumped last year’s Monsters Vs. Aliens, the previous record-holder at
$5.1 million.

“This franchise hit on every
cylinder, every time,” says Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney,
which releases Pixar’s films. Pixar’s other number ones include Finding Nemo,
Up and Monsters, Inc. No Pixar movie has debuted below No. 1.

Even critics, an often haughty
bunch, hopped aboard the Toy Story bandwagon. According to RottenTomatoes.com,
which surveys film critics nationwide, no movie in the Toy Story franchise has
gotten a thumbs-down, making it the best-reviewed franchise in Hollywood. A
competing survey site, metacritic.com, reported that 92 per cent of critics
recommended the first film, 88 per cent the second and 91 per cent the last.

The
computer-generated juggernaut, which features Tom Hanks and Tim Allen at its
core, gave the industry a boost in what has been a middling summer.

FEATtoystorySTORY

Woody (right centre), Buzz Lightyear (far right) and their playtime pals arrive at their new daycare home in a scene from Pixar’s Toy Story 3.
Photo: cbcnews