Checking out the box office tally for Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Inside Out over the weekend probably challenged the five primary emotions that govern Pixar's -- and the film's young protagonist's -- mind.
Joy: The movie took in an estimated $91 million in U.S. ticket sales over the weekend, making it Pixar's biggest opening after Toy Story 3.
Sadness: It was not the top draw at the multiplex. Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSK) Jurassic World carried over with another blowout showing for its second weekend, scoring $102 million in domestic ticket sales as its worldwide gross closes in on a cool $1 billion.
Anger: Media headlines are playing this out as a failure, pointing out this is the first time that a Pixar theatrical release hasn't been the top draw during its opening weekend.
Fear: Self-doubt has a funny way of creeping in when a perpetual gold medalist must settle for silver. Did Pixar -- or Disney's entire animation studio -- jump the shark? Are the glory days of Disney's animation dominance over?
Disgust: How dare the market get this story so wrong? How dare dinosaurs running (and flying) amok over an amusement park on the silver screen take away from Pixar's accomplishment here?
Inside Out is a hit, and if that's not apparent now it will be by the time summer is through. For starters, the misfortune of having what will probably be this year's biggest movie open the weekend before its release isn't a death sentence. If anything, having another big movie at the multiplex often helps since folks facing sold-out screens sometimes settle for other films.
There's also the likelihood that Inside Out will have a long shelf life at your local movie theater. For starters, it's critically loved. A whopping 98% of the critics tracked by Rotten Tomatoes recommend the movie. That compares to a lesser though still impressive 71% score for Jurassic World. When you factor in that summer just started, there will be plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks for kids, families, and even adults -- yes, like most Pixar movies, this one has a lot of appeal for grown-ups -- to catch the movie.
Inside Out is a great movie, and it will also be a financial success. It didn't come cheap. Its production budget isn't public, but recent Pixar releases have cost between $175 million and $185 million to crank out, and that's before an eight figure marketing budget. Disney doesn't have to make this all back with its cut of the theatrical release after exhibitors get their money. There's clearly money to be made in the eventual DVD, Blu-ray, and digital home release a few months later. There are also consumer products, potential sequels and spinoffs, and let's not forget the potential of streaming video these days. However, a lot of that success is based on how many people see the movie the first time around, and Inside Out will be just fine on that front.
If worrywarts want to tap into their inner "Fear," start worrying about The Good Dinosaur, the Pixar film that was bumped from its 2014 release and will finally hit screens in time for this year's holiday season. The trailer that plays ahead of Inside Out isn't overly impressive. However, this movie is a hit.