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“Incredibles 2” Blows Away Animated Box Office Record

Pixar movie helps Disney ease sting of "Solo" disappointment.

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Pixar couldn’t have drawn up a better scenario for Incredibles 2.

Director Brad Bird’s super-sequel debuted with $180 million over the weekend, easily shattering the all-time record for an animated movie. The previous mark was held since 2016 by another Pixar flick, Finding Dory, with $135.1 million.

Those staggering numbers caught both parent company Disney and industry watchers by surprise, with the movie about a family of superheroes tracking $30-40 million lower going into the weekend.

“In 25 years of tracking box office, this is one of the biggest over performances I’ve ever seen,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior box office analyst for ComScore, told RealClearLife.

“Pixar lives in their own alternate universe in terms of expectations, but this one proved to reach a whole different standard.”

Because of the lower price of children’s tickets, the sheer scale of the opening means that plenty of adults hit the theater without kids in tow, added Dergarabedian. Evidence of that can be seen in the record $18.5 million pulled in from Thursday night screenings, which start past young kids’ bedtimes.

“That means this was seen as one of the best action films of the year,” said Dergarabedian.

To give a sense of just how much Incredibles 2 dominated the box office this weekend: Runner-up Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.) finished with $19.6 million in its second weekend. The 21st release from Pixar lifted the entire industry: this weekend’s box office was up 38 percent from this time a year ago.

The superhuman haul will help ease the sting of parent company Disney’s last big release, Solo: A Star Wars Story, which finished in fourth place with $9.1 million. That film has yet to cross the $200 million mark domestically nearly a month after its release — a previously inconceivable low for the Star Wars live-action film franchise.

But despite that disappointment, Disney is still on track to challenge its own record for dominating market share over the course of the year. Since 2013, Disney has released at least four of the top 10 movies every year. That’s because the studio made shrewd moves in recent years purchasing Marvel, Lucasfilm, and, of course, Pixar.

“Since Toy Story came out in 1995, Pixar has been arguably the most consistently performing brand in movie history,” said Dergarabedian.

“For them to be sitting here more than two decades in and posting their biggest opening says a lot.”