Archive for the ‘Disney Pixar’ Category

DVD Sales: Up Soars On The Chart, And That’s The Not-So-Ugly Truth!

November 25, 2009

It’s Tuesday, which means the DVD Sales Chart is posted, and holiday sales are definitely picking up on the home market.  This week, Disney-Pixar’s Up had a very high profile debut, but that’s not all that was going on in the DVD world. I think we all know the drill for these posts at this point, so keep on reading for my DVD Sales Notes and then the full chart. 

DVD Sales Notes

Up burst onto the scene in a big way this week, selling 5.3 million copies and earning a humongous $88.1 million in its first week.  It also topped the Blu-Ray chart.  Without a doubt, this is going to be the family DVD of the Christmas season, and as retail sales pick up substantially in the next few weeks, we could be looking at sales of 10+ million copies by years end.  It just goes to show that quality still matters in Hollywood.  Disney-Pixar are a quality brand, and people know it.  That’s why they’re so economically successful and consistent.

-In second place is the Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler romantic comedy, The Ugly Truth.  It started with 1.1 million units and grossed $18 million in its first week, which is a fair result for the $88.9 million box office hit.  The Proposal (which has earned $63.4 million thus far) opened a bit stronger, though.  Its first week sales represented 23% of its total box office gross, whereas The Ugly Truth‘s first week sales were 20% of its total gross.  Still, unless you actually went and bought this movie, there’s nothing too shameful about this debut.

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen and Twilight are both working their hardest to break the 10 million barrier before year’s end.  I can’t wait to see what kind of sales boost Twilight gets after New Moon‘s gigantic debut this past weekend.  Could it break back into the Top 5?

-Just as we saw the Halloween effect on horror movies a few weeks ago, we are now seeing a major Christmas effect on Christmas movies.  The Polar Express, Peanuts Holiday Collection, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and Mickey’s Magical Christmas all re-entered the chart this week, and they’ll continue to thrive over the next month.

-The TV-on-DVD performer of the week is once again Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season One, but that’s just because there wasn’t another big TV release this week.  Star Wars sold 53,495 copies for an additional $1.6 million in sales.

Top 30 Selling DVDs for the Week Ending November 15, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 Up 5,296,538 -.-% 5,296,538 $88,134,392 $88,134,392 1
2 The Ugly Truth 1,129,751 -.-% 1,129,751 $18,053,421 $18,053,421 1
3 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 816,726 -67.8% 3,355,303 $13,190,125 $54,188,143 2
4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 518,531 -34.5% 8,082,694 $11,143,231 $181,861,284 4
5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 518,001 -46.9% 4,000,052 $9,204,878 $68,373,108 3
6 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 343,745 -46.0% 2,496,540 $5,496,483 $39,919,675 3
7 The Taking of Pelham 123 282,835 -69.2% 1,202,562 $4,352,831 $18,507,429 2
8 The Proposal 217,688 -21.4% 3,813,587 $3,757,295 $63,353,318 5
9 Twilight 192,052 30.0% 9,389,559 $3,758,458 $169,435,287 34
10 Polar Express, The 174,786 98.4% $1,571,326 203
11 Monsters vs. Aliens 156,248 1.4% 4,044,614 $2,107,786 $69,719,794 7
12 Land of the Lost 141,418 33.9% 946,248 $1,624,893 $14,774,590 5
13 Aliens in the Attic 105,931 -65.5% 412,845 $1,860,148 $6,841,363 2
14 Peanuts Holiday Collection 97,986 -.-% $2,252,698 479
15 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 96,927 4.6% 4,048,648 $1,484,922 $68,270,234 9
16 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 94,808 -.-% $1,188,892 626
17 Tale of Despereaux, The 93,219 -.-% 1,417,364 $1,397,353 $23,851,299 32
18 Hannah Montana The Movie 87,393 -10.8% 2,938,238 $1,310,021 $50,021,750 13
19 How the Grinch Stole Christmas 85,274 -.-% $1,065,072 417
20 Mickey’s Magical Christmas 79,978 1.3% $1,278,848 419
21 Orphan 73,092 -47.1% 498,019 $1,314,925 $8,959,362 3
22 I Love You, Beth Cooper 69,914 -43.8% 194,304 $1,337,455 $3,450,841 2
23 Edward Scissorhands 59,357 -38.0% $617,378 480
24 My One and Only 57,203 -.-% 57,203 $971,879 $971,879 1
25 Dark Knight, The 54,846 32.2% 13,014,845 $547,912 $224,570,060 49
26 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season One 53,495 -65.8% 210,125 $1,604,315 $6,301,649 2
27 Battlestar Galactica: The Plan 43,961 -46.7% 306,234 $831,303 $5,790,885 3
28 Watchmen 34,322 -.-% 2,299,561 $975,431 $48,691,650 17
29 My Life in Ruins 27,956 -.-% 286,066 $558,840 $5,718,459 6
30 Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season 26,503 -.-% 167,597 $773,888 $5,308,797 5

10 Inspiring Lines From Pixar FIlms

November 11, 2009

Disney-Pixar’s Upcame out on DVD this week, and in the course of just two days, I’ve probably been asked by about ten of my friends if I’ve picked it up yet.  You see, those close to me know how much I love Pixar, and it’s true- I really do adore them.  There is no other studio that works so hard on each of their movies, carefully crafting each one into an artistic, heartwarming masterpiece.  In honor of Up’sDVD release, I wanted this week’s Wednesday List to be showcase my favorite studio, and so I’ve decided to count down 10 inspiring lines from Pixar films.  Mind you, putting together this list together has been more difficult than I originally would have thought.  When I came up with the idea, I thought, “I’ve found so many scenes in Pixar films emotional.  This should be simple.”  I thought of the shredded door in Monsters, Inc. glued back together.  I thought of the Wall-E and EVE’s beautiful “dance” in space in Wall-E.  I thought of Remy’s passionate reaction to tasting great food in Ratatouille.  But then I realized: A lot of these scenes really don’t have any dialogue, and that is because Pixar has mastered the art of visual storytelling, and at its core, film is a visual medium.  Indeed, Pixar uses gorgeous imagery to engage audiences, but to only acknowledge the visuals would be undermining the brilliant writing in each Pixar script, which convey humor, heart, and often deep emotion.  Therefore, allow me to share some of my favorite dialogue from every Pixar film, and why I find these lines inspirational and emotional.

Toy Story (1995)

Woody: What chance does a toy like me have against a Buzz Lightyear action figure?
Why I love it: Because who can’t relate to feeling rejected?

A Bug’s Life (1998)

Flik: You’re wrong, Hopper. Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers. I’ve seen these ants do great things, and year after year they somehow manage to pick food for themselves and you. So-so who is the weaker species? Ants don’t serve grasshoppers! It’s you who need us! We’re a lot stronger than you say we are… And you know it, don’t you?
Why I love it: Because inside all of us, there is a courageous fighter waiting to take a stand.  Flik’s remarks appeal to an innate desire to stand up for something important.

Toy Story 2 – (1999)

Buzz Lightyear: Woody, stop this nonsense and let’s go.
Woody: Nah, Buzz, I can’t go. I can’t abandon these guys. They need me to get into this museum. Without me, they’ll go back into storage. Maybe forever.
Buzz Lightyear: Woody, you’re not a collector’s item, you’re a child’s plaything. You are a toy!
Woody: For how much longer? One more rip, and Andy’s done with me. And what do I do then, Buzz? Huh? You tell me.
Buzz Lightyear: Somewhere in that pad of stuffing is a toy who taught me that life’s only worth living if you’re being loved by a kid. And I traveled all this way to rescue that toy because I believed him.
Why I love it: Because this is what true friendship looks like- wanting what is best for a comrade, even if he doesn’t want it himself.  

Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Sulley: I’m sorry, Mike. I’m sorry we’re stuck out here. I didn’t mean all this to happen. But Boo’s in trouble. I think there might be a way to save her if we can just get down to that…
(later)
Sulley: [is fighting the invisible Randall when he is hit with a snowball] Mike?
Mike: Look, it’s not that I don’t care about the kid.
Sulley: Mike, you don’t understand.
Mike: Yes, I do. I was just mad, that’s all. I needed some time to think, but you shouldn’t have left me out there.
Sulley: I’m being attacked!
Mike: No, I’m not attacking you. I’m trying to be honest, just hear me out. You and I are a team. Nothing is more important than our friendship.
[Boo approaches Mike, frightened]
Mike: I-I know, kid. He’s too sensitive.
Mike: [Sulley is being strangled] Come on, pal. If you start crying, I’m gonna cry, and I’ll never get through this. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you, but I am now. Hey, Sulley, I am baring my soul here. The least you can do is pay attention!
Why I love it: Because there’s nothing more fun than witnessing a pair of friends that love each other immensely, but are a still completely odd couple.  “How are these two friends?” you think.

Finding Nemo (2003)

Dory: No. No, you can’t… STOP. Please don’t go away. Please? No one’s ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave… if you leave… I just, I remember things better with you. I do, look. P. Sherman, forty-two… forty-two… I remember it, I do. It’s there, I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it. And-and I look at you, and I… and I’m home. Please… I don’t want that to go away. I don’t want to forget.
Why I love it: Because we’re all terribly scared of being left alone.

The Incredibles (2004)
[Helen hands the kids two masks]
Helen: Put these on. Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.
Why I love it: Because in the midst of all the action in life, it is not simply what we do, but who we are that matters.

Cars (2005)

Sally: Forty years ago, that interstate down there didn’t exist.
Lightning McQueen: Really?
Sally: Yeah. Back then, cars came across the country a whole different way.
Lightning McQueen: How do you mean?
Sally: Well, the road didn’t cut through the land like that interstate. It moved with the land, it rose, it fell, it curved. Cars didn’t drive on it to make great time. They drove on it to have a great time.
Why I love it: Because I love America.  I love Americana.  And I love nostalgic looks at our country’s storied past.

Ratatouille (2007)

Anton Ego: In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.
Why I love it: Because two beautiful things happen here: someone (Remy the rat) is finally acknowledged for his passion, and someone (Anton Ego) is reminded why he once had a similar passion.

Wall-E (2008)

Captain: Out there is our home. HOME, Auto. And it’s in trouble. I can’t just sit here and-and-do nothing. That’s all I’ve ever done! That’s all anyone on this blasted ship has ever done. Nothing!
AUTO: On the Axiom, you will survive.
Captain: I don’t want to survive. I want to live!
Why I love it: Because this is just what our world needs to hear.  Sometimes on rainy days, I’ll spend hours blogging, listening to music, watching YouTube, doing class work, watching more YouTube, and napping, and I’ll think, “What have I become?  Life must have more purpose than simply existing and wasting time.”  It reminds me of the song “Done Living” by Justin McRoberts: “The question isn’t are you gonna die, you’re gonna die / Will you be done living when you do?” 

Up (2009)

Carl: Russell, for assisting the elderly and for performing above and beyond the call of duty, I would like to award you the highest honor I can bestow, the Ellie badge.
Why I love it: Because every person wants fatherly approval.  For Russell, who had no father in his life, Carl’s loving gesture helps to fill that void just a little.

What are some your favorite lines?  Are you as affected by Pixar movies as I am, or do I sound a little crazy?  Let me know in the comments.

What’s Next For Pixar?

June 8, 2009

Have you seen Up yet?

If the answer to that very simple question is ‘no,’ follow these instructions:
1. Put pan on stove.
2. Pour water in pan.
3. Heat water until boiling.
4. Pour water on head.
5. Go see Up.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s incredible. And it’s doing well at the Box Office as well. It pulled in 68 million its first weekend, and beat out the newcomers (Land of the Lost, The Hangover) this weekend to stay on top. But I’m already looking forward. What’s next for the geniuses at Pixar?

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3-D (October ’09, February ’10)
I didn’t have the fortune of seeing Up in 3D, but I hope to because I’ve only heard great things. Pixar’s animation is superb to begin with, but I can imagine when it’s put right in your face it’s like being enveloped with beauty (that’s an elegant way of saying it totally kicks ass). The guys at Pixar have been reworking the first two Toy Stories to put them in three dimensions, and they will be in theaters soon. These are two of their top movies, so I can’t wait. I just hope they’re showing in a theater near me. I assume the major idea here is to build up to their next release, which is:

Toy Story 3 (June 18th, 2010)
The third movie in the only trilogy featuring talking toys that don’t kill people arrives next summer. Neither Toy Story nor Toy Story 2 has received a single negative review on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s right, 100% for both. Pixar movies already have a lot of pressure on them to be up to caliber, when everybody is just waiting for you to mess up, but I can guarantee that the third installment in the Toy Story universe will be watched even more carefully than the others. When you have the predecessors this movie does, there’s a lot of expectation. But something tells me Pixar is up to the challenge.

Not much is known about the plot, and the recent teaser only showed the characters building a sign for the movie, and no actual footage. The basic idea involves the Toys being dumped in a daycare center as Andy goes off to college. That’s kind of a bummer premise, since Woody’s love for Andy is was such a crux for the first two movies, so it will be interesting to see how it will play out. It’s realistic, though, and I’d love to see how the toys cope with the loss. Like Woody, we’d like their time together to be stagnant and unchanging. But as Prospector Pete told us in Toy Story 2, that just won’t be the case. I always hoped Woody would be passed to Andy’s son (a thought I also hope holds true for Calvin’s tiger, Hobbes), so I hope after a brief stint in what is guaranteed to be a hellish day care, the toys are reunited with their former owner.

It’s directed by Lee Unkrich, who directed the top two movies on my Pixar list (Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo), and like most upcoming Pixar releases, it will be in 3D. I think it’s becoming something of a trend.

Cars 2 (Summer 2011)
In only the second time that Pixar has decided to reuse characters, director Brad Lewis (producer of Ratatouille) takes us back to the world where Cars speak and drive themselves. I’m very interesting in their choice to make this movie. Most people, including myself, would rank Cars at the bottom of their Pixar rankings. Why not do a sequel to The Incredibles? There’s a lot of potential there. While I think Cars is a good movie, I find it a step down from every other film they’ve produced. It received strikingly more negative reviews than it’s affiliates (it has an RT rating of 75%; the next is A Bug’s Life at 91). It’s not quite the retarded stepchild of the group, but perhaps it’s the B-student surrounded by straight A’s. But, that student also happens to be cash cow, because Cars made a lot of money, and it’s merchandising pushes that even further. I pray that they aren’t making the movie for purely monetary reasons, so they can add a few more action figures (action cars?) to the line up. Hopefully it’s a shot at redemption. Not much is known about Cars 2, except that Lightning Mcqueen and his friend Mater (and perhaps the rest of the gang) are heading off to Europe to race in the European tours.

The premise actually intrigues me. There’s a lot of potential in the story, as was there was in the first. I watched it again recently, and the first 30 minutes are as good as any others. After that, it loses the fresh feeling it had, and drags on for too long. I don’t think the idea itself grew stale, I just think they didn’t keep pumping the creativity into it. The Volkswagen hippie and his organic fuel? The humvee that raises the flag at sunrise? It did a lot of really funny things in that first third of the movie. So hopefully, this will be a redemption film, and will make up for the flawed rest of the first movie.


The Bear and the Bow (Christmas 2011)
2011 marks a momentous occasion. It will be the first time that not one, but two Pixar films are released in the same year. Directed by Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt, and my all time favorite animated film, The Lion King), The Bear and the Bow takes Pixar to the land of the more traditional cartoons, where there are princesses, royalty, magic, and curses. Though I am sure they will put their own creative spin on it. Princess Merida of Scotland has a dream that her parents do not share; she wants to become a champion archer. Through a clash of wills with her mother, Merida makes a reckless choice that endangers herself, her family, and her kingdom. And yes, it’s in 3D.

newt (Summer 2012)
After a return to the character that brought them acclaim, Pixar will begin another highly original and imaginative tale, one that I’m excited for based on the premise itself. The population of blue-footed newts on the planet has diminished to a total of two, a male named, appropriately, Newt, and a female named Brooke. In desperation to save the species, humans have captured and forced the two to live together, so that they might, well, divide and multiply. Emphasis on the latter.

Problem: Newt and Brooke can’t stand each other. But they begin together a perilous and unpredictable journey where they learn that, “Love is not a science.” Sure it’s likely that this will be a romantic comedy, where the couple that at first don’t get along fall in love with each other. It would be formulaic, especially for Pixar, if they weren’t the last two newts alive, and really each other’s only choice for a mate.

newt (uncapitalized on purpose) is directed by Gary Rydstorm, who directed the short film Lifted. It will be yet another 3D film.

Rumored: Monster’s Inc. 2
Slashfilm reported a rumor today that is talk of doing a sequel to Monster’s Inc. While I’d still like to see The Incredibles 2, I’m very excited about this sequel, so long as they don’t stop coming up with fresh movies and characters.

Viva la Pixar! Here’s to the next 2 years.