Pixar Animation Studios' "Brave" now rules the North American box office, thanks to a No. 1 debut at $66.7 million.
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, Brave made another $13.5 million in 10 overseas countries for a global total of $80.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
It's the 13th Pixar movie in a row to open at No. 1 since the pioneering 1995 computer-animated film Toy Story.
"Their track record is just unbelievable," said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "The Pixar brand just carries so much weight with the audience, it doesn't matter almost what the story is about if it has the Pixar name."
The results for Brave were just above the $66.1 million debut of Pixar's Cars 2, which opened over the same weekend last year.
"It is a phenomenal thing, these guys and their mastery of big storytelling and character development, delivering something that plays well to adults as well as kids, to girls as well as boys," Dave Hollis, Disney's head of distribution, said of Pixar.
Females made up 57 percent of viewers of Brave, the first Pixar movie with a female protagonist. Two-thirds of the box office came from families.
In second place was DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, with $20.2 million in its third weekend. It made another $30.1 million internationally for a global collection of $50.3 million this past weekend. No. 1 for the previous two weekends, Madagascar 3 has made a total of $157.6 million in North America.
Families kept heading to Madagascar 3 as well. Unusually, the box office was led by two PG-rated movies.
20th Century Fox's live-action tale Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opened a distant third with $16.5 million.
Ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at United States and Canadian theaters were released by Hollywood.com. Final domestic figures are scheduled for release Monday.
Re: Pixar dons "Brave" face with $66.7 million debut
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Puns aside from the title thread, I'm not surprised Pixar is dominating the box office again, but I AM surprised by the criticism it's suddenly getting, from reading it online. Could Pixar be on the way to a downward spiral?