Story by: Jack Foley
FINDING Nemo, the latest computer-animated underwater extravaganza
from the creators of Monsters,
Inc., A Bugs Life and the Toy Story films, broke records
in America this weekend (May 30-June 1, 2003) to become the biggest
opening weekend ever for an animated film with a three-day Box
Office gross of $70.6m.
Finding Nemo looks set to out-strip Disney/Pixars previous
best of $255m for last years Monsters, Inc.
The film follows the comedic and eventful journeys of two fish
Marlin and his son Nemo who become separated in
the Great Barrier Reef.
Buoyed by the companionship of a friendly-but-forgetful fish
named Dory, the overly cautious father embarks on a dangerous
trek and finds himself the unlikely hero of an epic journey to
rescue his son - who hatches a few daring plans of his own to
return safely home.
Finding Nemo is said to take computer animation onto new spectacular
levels and introduces some of Pixars best characters yet.
The film features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres
and Willem Dafoe, was directed and co-written by Pixar veteran
and Academy-Award nominee, Andrew Stanton, and executive-produced
by Academy-Award winning writer/director, John Lasseter.
In addition to winning rave reviews from the US critics (see
forthcoming preview), the film was the largest three-day opening
in Buena Vista history, animated or live action, beating blockbusters
like Pearl Harbor and setting a new company record.
The film was produced by the Walt Disney Co and Pixar Animation
Studios Inc., whose partnership has now resulted in five consecutive
No. 1 blockbusters.
Finding Nemo also scored the biggest opening day for an animated
film in history. The film took $18m alone on Friday.
It also smashed the weekend figure for Shrek,
which only took $42.3m.
The openings of other high-profile animated films compare as
follows: The Lion King: $40.2m; Ice Age: $46.3m and Monsters,
Meanwhile, last weeks record-breaker, Bruce
Almighty, settled into the number 2 position, having de-throned
The Matrix Reloaded the
previous week, and took a further $35.6m to take the box office
total to $135.7m.
The Italian Job remake,
which also opened to positive reviews, went in at number three,
while slasher flick, Wrong Turn, was the only other major Top
10 entry in the US charts at the weekend.
Finding Nemo will open in the UK on October 3, 2003 (Londons
West End) and October 10, 2003 (nationwide).