'Inside Out': Why it did so well in its debut box office weekend

While 'Inside' didn't debut at No. 1 – that honor went to box office smash 'Jurassic World' – it did have the best box office debut ever of any film not part of an established franchise. Here's how Pixar keeps scoring at the box office.

'Inside Out' stars (from l.) Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, and Phyllis Smith.

While “Jurassic World” took the top spot at the box office this weekend, the new Pixar movie “Inside Out” had the biggest box office debut ever for an original film. 

According to the Associated Press, “Inside” beat the 2009 movie “Avatar” to take the title of the biggest debut for an original movie (defining that as a movie that isn’t a sequel or based on previously written material). “Inside” centers on a young girl named Riley who finds herself encountering new feelings as a result of a move to a new school. Actors Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, and Lewis Black star as the emotions inside Riley’s head. 

“Jurassic” came in at number one with a gross of $102 million domestically, while “Inside” grossed more than $91 million for second place. “Inside” is the first Pixar movie not to debut at number one, according to the AP, but “Jurassic” would be tough to beat for any film. However, the performance of “Inside” on its opening weekend is also the second-best for a Pixar movie, behind only the 2010 movie “Toy Story 3,” according to Entertainment Weekly

Pixar has a positive track record with audiences that would be difficult for any movie studio to achieve, let alone one that specializes in animated films. What keeps moviegoers coming back for Pixar films? Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for analytical company Rentrak, told the AP, “They can take almost any subject and turn it into something insightful, poignant and moving.” Pixar has made enough movies by now (“Inside” is number 15) that have almost all been well received by critics that audience members trust the studio to deliver a good story. And the films attract all ages – parents know a Pixar movie will be appropriate for their children and the sophisticated stories will also entertain teens and adults.

In addition, if anyone is still unfamiliar with Pixar’s output or doubtful whether a story idea will work, “Inside” scored extremely positive reviews. The film currently holds a score of 93 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic, a number that’s difficult to achieve when critics may naturally feel differently about a film. With a movie like this, however, almost all were won over. 

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