Pixar continues to fly high with the studio’s latest animated feature.
“Up,” the 10th film from Disney/Pixar, stayed at No. 1 at the box office for the second week in a row. The tale of a senior citizen who uses thousands of balloons to convert his home into an airship floated up with another $44.2 million over the weekend, according to the Associated Press.
“Up” made $137.3 million in just 10 days, so the film is racing toward the $200 million mark achieved by such previous Pixar hits as “WALL-E,” “Ratatouille,” “Cars” and “Toy Story 2.”
The AP noted that revenues for most big movies drop 50 percent or more in the second weekend, but the audience for “Up” was down only 35 percent from its opening. That puts it in line with “Finding Nemo,” the top-grossing Disney-Pixar animated tale, Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney, told the AP.
“Up” likely will finish in the top three among Pixar flicks, Viane said. Currently, the top three are “Finding Nemo” with $339.7 million in domestic receipts, “The Incredibles” with $261.4 million and “Monsters, Inc.” with $255.8 million.
The high-flying Pixar adventure was the first movie of the frantic summer season to keep the No. 1 spot for two consecutive weekends.
The Vegas bachelor-bash comedy “The Hangover” staggered in at a close second with a $43.3 million in its opening weekend.
Distributor Warner Bros. expected “The Hangover” to come in at No. 3 behind “Up” and the film version of “Land of the Lost.” But “The Hangover” attracted a broad audience split almost evenly between men and women and those younger and older than 25, Dan Fellman, Warner head of distribution, told the AP.
“The Hangover” was directed by Todd Phillips, whose 2003 comedy “Old School” featured a breakout role for Ferrell.
Ferrell’s action-comedy take on “Land of the Lost” got lost in third place with a $19.5 million debut.
It was one of his weaker openings. It was loosely based on the 1970s children’s TV show about adventurers hurled back to an age of dinosaurs. But most critics found it a crude update and gave it poor reviews.
In narrower release, Fox Searchlight’s rom-com”My Life in Ruins” had a mediocre debut of $3.2 million, coming in at No. 9. The movie stars Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) who unexpectedly finds love in Greece.
Focus Features’ road-trip romp “Away We Go,” starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph and directed by Sam Mendes, really took off in limited release, drawing in $143,260 in four theaters for a healthy average of $35,815 a cinema.
Overall box-office revenues dropped for the second weekend in a row, according to the AP. The top 12 movies took in $164 million, down 6 percent from the same weekend last year, when “Kung Fu Panda” opened on top with $60.2 million, according to box-office figures compiled by Hollywood.com.
For the year, Hollywood has taken in $4.3 billion, up 12.5 percent from 2008 revenues. But studios have been unable to maintain the promising pace of the first four months of 2009.
“Definitely, things have slowed,” Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com, told the AP. “But there are some potential saviors on the horizon.”
Three huge sequels – “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” – open within three weeks of one another, with the “Transformers” leading the way on June 24.
Here are the top 10 movies, according to the AP:
1. “Up,” $44.2 million.
2. “The Hangover,” $43.3 million.
3. “Land of the Lost,” $19.5 million.
4. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” $14.7 million.
5. “Star Trek,” $8.4 million.
6. “Terminator Salvation,” $8.2 million.
7. “Drag Me to Hell,” $7.3 million.
8. “Angels & Demons,” $6.5 million.
9. “My Life in Ruins,” $3.2 million.
10. “Dance Flick,” $2 million.