"Cars 2" vrooms at number one of North America box office racing

08:27, June 27, 2011      

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This summer's another widely anticipated sequel to a major box office tentpole debuted this weekend in North America theaters, with "Cars 2" being projected to gross 68 million U.S. dollars, a feat well exceeds industry analysts' wildest expectations.

The Pixar/Disney 3-D release, the second installment on the 2006 "Cars" franchise, hit the screen at 4,115 venues including 2, 508 3-D theaters in the U.S. and Canada, becoming Pixar's 12th straight No.1 animated film. This has set a record-high for Pixar, surpassing the studios' previous widest release "Toy Story 3" (4, 028 theaters), and marked the widest release for a G-rated film.

On its debut Friday, the film garnered an estimated 25.7 million dollars, marking the second-largest opening day for a Pixar film after "Toy Story 3" (41.1 million dollars), but it was still the third least-attended first day for a Pixar film, only ahead of "Up" and "Ratatouille."

In the new movie, star racecar Lightning Mcqueen and his best friend, tow truck Mater jumpstart a new adventure to exotic lands stretching across the globe. The duo are joined by a bunch of new friends, and then head for the first-ever World Grand Prix, a race to determine the world's fastest car.

To make the movie more believable, the crew, headed by animation director John Lasseter from the original film, even went to Paris, London and Tokyo to add new elements to the movie.

"'Cars 2'is totally different from the original," Lasseter said at a Hollywood premiere last week. "It is a spy movie, and the cars go around the world, and 'Lightning Mcqueen' gets to race, the Formula One cars, rally cars, Le Mans cars, the coolest cars around the world, it gets to race with."

The young audience-orientated film has received generally mixed to negative reviews from film critics. Popular review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 34 percent of its critics had given the film a positive review based on 139 reviews, with an average score of 5.5/10. It was mainly criticized for "the rusty storytelling under the hood." However, the audiences, who are families with children under the age of 12, give a contrasting approval, giving it an average grade of A-, the market research firm CinemaScore said.

"Bad Teacher," a boozy female-skewing R-rated comedy from Sony Pictures, debuted at 3,049 theaters to take in 31 million dollars, representing a "much-bigger-than-expected debut and a mandate in favor of R-rated comedy," said analyst Paul Dergerabedian. Sixty- three of the film's moviegoers were women.

Last weekend's No. 1 movie "Green Lantern" found itself on a downslide, taking in only 18.4 million dollars for an 89.3 million dollars 10-day run.

Rounding out the 10 most-popular movies over the weekend are:

"Super 8" (12.1 million U.S. dollars), "Mr. Popper's Penguins" (10.3 million U.S. dollars), "X-Men: First Class" (6.6 million U.S. dollars), "The Hangover: Part II" (5.9 million U.S. dollars), " Bridesmaids" (5.3 million U.S. dollars), "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (4.7 million U.S. dollars), and "Midnight In Paris" (4.9 million U.S. dollars).

Source: Xinhua
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