Back in March, I mentioned that I thought Cars was going to be Pixar's least successful film to date. Well, if a 19 million Friday is any indication, then I may have been right. I went to see a matinee of the movie with a >5 year old child. Here are some of my thoughts:
The theater for the matinee was packed, moreso than when I went to see Over The Hedge. Good thing? Most likely. But, in general these movies are all packed their first weekend.
Here's an interesting detail about most Pixar movies vs. most Dreamworks & Fox Computer Animated movies: Cars is rated G. Over The Hedge is rated PG. One thing I have always noted about Pixar's competition is that they ALWAYS relegate to "potty humor". Pixar almost never makes references to passing gas, burping, or cursing. Does this translate into a bigger audience?
One other comparison I wanted to touch on is the absolutely amazing computer graphics that Cars had. When I was sitting in Over The Hedge my best friend and I commented on how incredibly lifelike the animals looked and that finally Pixar had met it's computer generated match. Not so. No detail is left out in Cars. It's nothing short of stunning. Many of the backdrops you will THINK are real or "computer enhanced" rather than computer generated.
As always, I love the adult pop culture references that Pixar movies make. Movies like Shrek usually have 1 or 2 pop culture references that make you snicker, but Pixar's writers are just much more witty. One scene where two cars are "tractor tipping" (in reference to cow tipping) is one of the funniest things I think I have ever seen in an animated movie.
Now comes the bad. I have a tad bit of ADD. It's very hard for me to sit still for more than 30 minutes. I wasn't the only one. The under 10 crowd that was in attendance, including one that was with me, was incredibly fidgety and squirmy. Many kids were saying they wanted to go home. I didn't hear that at Monster's Inc, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, or The Incredibles.
This is the 1st Pixar movie to date that I did not see opening day at the earliest time possible. I just wasn't as interested in it as I have been in past Pixar films.
I recommend it ... just make sure that if you take your child that they are well behaved and fed ... because, while my child was ... others were not. I would consider going to see it later at night so as to avoid the "kiddy crowd".
This movie will not do as well as Finding Nemo.
As always, make sure you stay after the film to see some "extras" and "outtakes" - the John Ratzenberger bit is so funny and so "Cliff Clavin".
[UPDATE] Cars made 63 million its opening weekend ... the least of ANY Pixar movie since A Bug's Life in 1998.