A fish tale, by a yarnspinner's definition, is an exaggerated story. It's a whale of a tale born out of something small -- like, say, a clownfish in a dentist office aquarium. Well, the success of Pixar's (NASDAQ:PIXR) Finding Nemo is no fish tale. After another strong weekend at the box office, Nemo has overtaken Matrix Reloaded to become the year's highest-grossing movie.

Not long ago, the notion that Nemo and Neo would slug it out for box office supremacy would have seemed ludicrous. After all, Marvel's (NYSE:MVL) X-Men and The Hulk stood poised to flex their superpowers on the big screen in early summer, while in July, Sony (NYSE:SNE), AOL Time Warner (NYSE:AOL), and MGM (NYSE:MGM) would launch installments of the Charlie's Angels, Terminator, and Legally Blonde franchises. Surely, theatergoers would have bigger fish to fry than a computer-rendered feature about marine life down under?

Apparently not. Closing in on $275 million domestically, Nemo is more than just the year's most successful theatrical release. Over the weekend, it passed Shrek to become the country's second-highest grossing animated full-length feature of all time. Next up is Disney's (NYSE:DIS) The Lion King, which took in $316 million before tacking on another $16 million in an Imax re-release last year.

That Pixar's fish flick out-grossed DreamWorks' Sinbad over the weekend is every bit as impressive. After all, movies tend to open strong and fade quickly, but Nemo has been a top-five staple for six weeks now. Sinbad opened a disappointing sixth, and it likely only gets worse from there.

What does all this mean for Pixar? The studio has produced five consecutive hits. That's a rarity in the hit-and-miss world of celluloid. Negotiations are underway with Disney to extend their partnership under terms more favorable to Pixar. To that end, with each week of Nemo's buoyancy, it seems safe to assume that Pixar is gaining more and more leverage.

Can Pixar do no wrong? David Gardner seems to think so; the stock remains one of his top picks in Motley Fool Stock Advisor. What do you think? Is Finding Nemo the best Pixar movie, or simply the most successful financially? Discuss this and more in the Pixar Discussion Board. Only on Fool.com.