Incredible Opening

The Incredibles, a Disney presentation of a Pixar film, pulled off the superhuman feat of topping all other Pixar pics by opening to an estimated $70.6 million over the weekend. The movie enjoyed a slightly bigger opening than Finding Nemo, which bowed to $70.2 million in May of 2003. Only time will tell if The Incredibles has the kind of momentum exhibited by Nemo, which went on to make nearly $340 million domestically and $864 million worldwide.

Directed by Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, TV’s The Simpsons), The Incredibles is the story of a family of undercover superheroes trying to live a quiet, suburban life when they are forced back into action in order to save the world. Craig T. Nelson (Poltergeist, TV’s Coach,) stars as the voice of Mr. Incredible and Holly Hunter (Thirteen, Raising Arizona) as his wife, Elastigirl. Author and NPR contributor Sarah Vowell lends her voice to incredible daughter Violet, and Daryl Sabara Jr. from the Spy Kids movies plays her speedy brother, Dash. Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee also bring star power to the voice cast and Brad Bird himself provides the voice of one of the film’s funniest characters, Edna ‘E’ Mode.

Despite breaking Pixar records, The Incredibles trails DreamWorks’ Shrek 2, which opened to $108 million over a holiday weekend this summer. In fact, Shrek 2 may have taken a bite out of The Incredibles’ potential take by arriving on video shelves Friday. Many families were asked to choose between going out to see something new or staying home to watch a favorite. Others, undoubtedly, did both.

Another option was Warner Bros. Pictures CG holiday pic, The Polar Express, which was sneaked at approximately 500 theaters on Saturday. The film, which has also been given the IMAX 3D treatment, opens wide on Wednesday, Nov. 10. The latest Tom Hanks/Robert Zemeckis project should benefit from strong word-of-mouth and enjoy sturdy legs throughout the holiday season.

Accompanying The Incredibles in theaters is the Oscar-nominated Pixar short Boundin’ from director Bud Lucky, who also voices a character in the feature. Go behind the scenes at Pixar with our cover story on The Incredibles in December Issue of Animation Magazine, available now.

Universal’s Ray Charles biopic, Ray, played strong in its second weekend, earning an estimated $13.8 to hold onto the No. 2 spot. Sony’s chiller, The Grudge, trails closely behind with around $13.5 million, followed by Lions Gate’s horror entry, Saw, with an estimated $11.4 million. Paramount’s remake of Alfie rounds out the top five, managing only $6.5 million in its debut weekend.