‘Cars’ downshifts Mouse

Turns out “Cars” got off to a significantly slower start than Disney expected. Actual grosses released Monday showed the pic took $60.1 million, almost 4% less than the studio’s $62.8 million estimate, indicating it had a weak Sunday. Pixar toons such as “The Incredibles” and “Finding Nemo” have typically done about as good or better on Sunday than on Friday, but “Cars” dipped from $19.7 million on Friday to $17.1 million Sunday. While hardly disastrous, that could indicate word of mouth on the John Lasseter-helmed toon is softer than on previous Pixar pics, which could weaken its expected healthy legs throughout the summer.

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