Rugrats, Thornberrys Take On Nemo

The latest installment in the successful Rugrats franchise is hoping to take a bite out of Finding Nemo‘s phenomenal box office draw. Paramount’s release of Nickelodeon Movies’ and Klasky Csupo’s Rugrats Go Wild opens in just over 3,000 theaters today.

The first Rugrats theatrical outing became the first animated movie to reach the $100 million mark. The follow-up, Rugrats in Paris was also a major hit, making a $76.5 million return on a $30 million investment. But this time the troublemaking toddlers are not alone. This third adventure has Tommy, Angelica, Chuckie and the rest of the gang teaming up with another set of popular Nickelodeon TV stars, The Wild Thornberrys.

The Wild Thornberrys Movie did lackluster numbers when it opened last winter. But without competition from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, it managed to find its audience on home video. The DVD and VHS success of the film should have a lot of kids curious to see what the family of wildlife documentarians do next.

Another draw is the chance to hear Rugrats‘ Spike the dog speak for the first time. Eliza Thornberry’s ability to communicate with animals affords the loveable mutt the opportunity to finally say what’s on his mind. Movie star Bruce Willis provides the voice.

Disney/Pixar’s CG Finding Nemo has already made more than $160 million in just two weeks and pundits say it could very well steal the No. 1 spot back from 2 Fast 2 Furious this weekend. The tale about a heroic dad in search of his lost son makes for fitting Father’s Day family fare.

Meanwhile, Universal is counting on its Bruce Almighty to have some magic left in it. The Jim Carrey vehicle has the highest theater count of the weekend with 3,476.

Go behind the scenes for a look at the making of Rugrats Go Wild in the June issue of Animation Magazine.