We took Penny last weekend to see “Up,” the latest Pixar animated film about a man who uses hundreds of balloons to float his house to South America to fulfill his wife’s lifelong wish.
Aside from seeing Penny love the film (and love the movie-going experience in general – she kept asking to go to the “moonies” for days after the viewing), we saw a darn good film. Pixar always puts out a good product, but “Up” was, as my wife put it, one of the saddest films ever (I’d choose a word like sentimental instead of sad, but the idea still applies).
Indeed it was sad in many ways, and in that fashion it was definitely directed as much to adults as children. And viewers of all ages have continued to turn out, as the film earned $30.8 million last weekend and earned $187.4 million in its first 17 days of release, according to Box Office Guru. It could end up being the top-grossing film of the entire year.
“Up” has joined rare air, as it and “Shrek 2” are now the only two films to have earned more than $30 million in each of their first three weekends, Box Office Guru reported. Word of mouth and critical response have helped “Up” retain its lofty ticket sales, and all of the praise is warranted. This might not have been the best of the computer-animated film lot, but it was pretty good.
Box Office Mojo and many other analysts project “Up” to surpass the $300 million mark, which among animated films would rank it only behind “Shrek 2” ($436.5 million, No. 4 all-time), “Finding Nemo ($339.7 million, No. 15 all-time), “The Lion King” ($328.5 million, No. 18 all-time) and “Shred the Third” ($320.7 million, No. 19 all-time) on the all-time box office earnings chart, according to numbers from Box Office at Hollywood.com.
In terms of quality, I would put “Monsters Inc.,” “WALL-E” and the original “Shrek” above “Up,” but that should in no way diminish the film’s superior quality. It will likely end up among the summer’s best offerings – both in earnings and quality – and deserves any praise it gets.
As Hollywood.com’s Paul Dergarabedian put it, “How amazing is this idea” ‘Ed Asner, box office star,’ ” speaking about the voice of the lead character. That, along with last year’s nearly voiceless “WALL-E,” proves once again that good animation and a great story will outlast star power any day of the week.
Now where’d I put those “Toy Story” DVDs?