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The box-office contest between Pixar’s Inside Out and Jurassic World is much closer than anyone expected.
Inside Out quickly won over the hearts and minds of moviegoers Friday, joyfully knocking Jurassic World from the top spot with an estimated $34.2 million from 3,946 theaters.
That puts the animated film on course to possibly cross $90 million for the weekend in North America — the best showing for an original Pixar title and the top opening for any Pixar title outside of Toy Story 3, which launched to $110.3 million and had the benefit of being part of a beloved franchise. (Disney is estimating $84 million-$89 million for Inside Out, while rivals have it hitting $90 million).
It’s even more impressive considering the competition from Jurassic World, one of the biggest box-office sensations in history. Jurassic World, grossing $28.9 million Friday, is still expected to win the weekend overall with $103.3 million from 4,291 theaters, narrowly eclipsing The Avengers ($103 million) to score the top sophomore gross of all time. Through Sunday, Jurassic World will have earned nearly $400 million domestically for Universal and Legendary.
The weekend’s other new entry is Dope, Rick Famuyiwa‘s coming-of-age story that made waves at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The movie grossed $2.4 million Friday for a projected $6.5 million domestic debut from 2,002 theaters. Open Road Films opted for a nationwide opening, versus a platform release.
Inside Out will be the first Pixar title not to place No. 1 in its domestic debut if it comes in behind Jurassic World. But opening-weekend spoils aren’t everything, especially considering animated films can play far longer in the marketplace than live-action tentpoles. The critically acclaimed Inside Out, from directors Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, nabbed an A CinemaScore and returns Pixar to the big screen for the first time in two years.
Sporting a 98 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the unique coming-of-age tale features the voices of Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and Phyllis Smith and centers on five emotions — Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger — that try to protect a young girl when she is upset by her family’s move to San Francisco.
In terms of previous Pixar openings, Toy Story 3 ranks No. 1, followed by sequel Monsters University ($82.4 million). Among original titles, The Incredibles ranks No. 1 with $70.4 million, followed by Finding Nemo ($70.3 million) and Docter’s Up ($68.1 million).
Inside Out isn’t the only animated film making noise. Overseas, Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions has begun rolling out, grossing a strong $12 million from four markets since opening midweek. The spin-off opens in North America July 10.
8:20 a.m., June 20: Updated with Friday numbers.