A family of superheroes comes out of retirement to help save the day. For Pixar (NASDAQ:PIXR) it will be just another day at the box office as The Incredibles kicks off its theatrical run.

The movie will open on nearly 4,000 movie screens today, making it the fourth-widest domestic opening in history. That should help drum up some stellar opening-weekend figures, even though it should be noted that two of the three movies that made their debut in more multiplex screens were Shark Tale and Shrek 2 from rival DreamWorks Animation (NYSE:DWA).

DreamWorks will factor prominently here. In a sinister move, the company is also releasing Shrek 2, the highest-grossing animated film of all time, on video and DVD today. It is no coincidence. New home releases typically go out on Tuesdays. DreamWorks obviously thinks that if enough parents gobble up copies of Shrek 2. their kids will be too distracted to tug at their sleeves and motion toward the Pixar marquee.

Disney (NYSE:DIS) will be distributing the action flick. It is the next-to-last original release in the contract with Pixar that finds the two companies splitting the production budgets as well as the profits. While Disney and Pixar may hook up on sequels to existing properties come 2006, each is clearly looking forward to seeing other people. Disney has a pair of upstart computer-animation studios to mentor, while Pixar has the cash to fully fund its independence.

However, both companies can't look too far ahead because they need each other right now. Disney needs Pixar's new feature to help salvage what has been a dud of a year for its movie studio, while Pixar needs a strong showing to quell whispers that DreamWorks is now the dominant force in animation after producing two hits since Pixar's last release.

Another company that will be banking on a strong run is THQ (NASDAQ:THQI), the video game publisher behind The Incredibles console games. THQ has actually succeeded where Disney has not in that it has already secured a licensing deal with Pixar for the next four movies beyond next year's Cars.

As a successful Motley Fool Stock Advisor stock recommendation, Pixar's quality track record makes it easy to expect big things of today's new addition to the studio's attractive resume. Pixar's first five films grossed an average of $239 million at the domestic box office during their theatrical runs. We won't leave you hanging on this one. Steven Mallas will break down how the film fared next week.

Will you be heading out to catch Pixar's latest release today? Where do you think it will rank among the company's past winners? Will a Hollywood release schedule loaded with big holiday flicks slow it down? All this and more -- in the Pixar discussion board. Only on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns all of the Pixar releases on DVD. Yes, he owns shares of Pixar, too -- and in Disney.