“Wall-E” blasted off at the box office Friday, earning an estimated $23.1 million and giving Disney-Pixar its best opening day ever.
Meanwhile, Universal’s actioner “Wanted” based on the comic strip by Mark Millar loaded up a boffo $18.8 million in second at 3,175 theaters, giving Angelina Jolie her highest opening day ever for a live-action pic. Jolie’s previous top live-action opening day belonged to 2001’s “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” which made $18 million.
The tale about a lonely robot who romantically pursues another robot from outer space, “Wall-E” also took the record for the top G-rated opening day, besting “Finding Nemo’s” $20.2 million in 2003.
Playing at 3,992 theaters, “Wall-E” is Pixar’s ninth animated release.
Pixar’s previous opening day high belonged to 2005’s “The Incredibles” which grossed $20.5 million on its first Friday and $70.5 million over three days.
Among the top debut days of all-time for animated fare, “Wall-E” ranks third behind last summer’s “Shrek the Third” ($38.4 million) and “The Simpsons Movie” ($30.8 million).
Both new entries are expected to keep a lock on their respective top slots through Sunday.
Last weekend’s number one film, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s “Get Smart” placed third yesterday, taking in $6.6 million at 3,915 venues, a 50% decline from a week ago, for an eight day cume of $63.9 million.
In fourth, the Paramount-DreamWorks animation release “Kung Fu Panda” kicked up $3.5 million on 3,670, down 45%, raising its domestic cume in its fourth Friday to $171.1 million.
In its third Friday, Universal and Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk” took fifth with $2.8 million from 3,349, down 58%, for a running cume of $109.1 million.
Among niche fare, The Yash Raj release “Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic” bowed to $62,000 at 84 sites.
Picturehouse’s “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” fell 68% in its five locations, posting $31,000 in its second Friday or $6,260 per theater average. Through its first eight days, the Abigail Breslin starrer has grossed over $374,000.