Los Angeles - Roaring back after a two-year absence from theatres, Pixar over the weekend released the brainy animated film Inside Out to exultant reviews - the best of the year so far for any movie, according to metacritic.com - and an enormous US$91.1 million (S$121.5 million) in North American ticket sales.
But the holdover dinosaur sequel Jurassic World nonetheless won the box-office derby, ending Pixar's two-decade run of continuous No. 1 releases.
Jurassic World (Universal Pictures) took in US$102 million in North American cinemas over the weekend for an 11-day total of US$398.2 million, according to Rentrak, which compiles box-office data.
Worldwide, Jurassic World has now taken in US$981.3 million. Inside Out came second worldwide, with a total of about US$132.1 million. The Hong Kong action sequel SPL 2 (Bravos Pictures and Celestial Pictures), with Thai martial arts star Tony Jaa, is third worldwide, with a total of US$40 million.
Directed by Pete Docter (Up, 2009), Inside Out unfolds largely inside the mind of a young girl struggling to come to terms with her family's move to San Francisco. It cost at least US$300 million to make and market, on a par with other Pixar efforts.
More was on the line than ticket sales: Following less rapturously received efforts such as Brave (2012) and Monsters University (2013) - and a high-profile production delay with an upcoming film, The Good Dinosaur - the euphoric response to Inside Out effectively muzzles Pixar's detractors.
Inside Out will most likely be a strong ticket- seller in the weeks ahead, in part because of light competition. Studios will release only two major animated movies this summer - the other is Minions - compared with as many as five in recent summers.
New York Times, Reuters
Minions and Jurassic World are showing in Singapore.