‘Up’ soars to $21.4 million Friday

Disney's Pixar film tops box office

Disney’s Pixar release “Up” amassed an estimated $21.4 million yesterday, giving the Mouse House its second best opening day ever for an animated feature behind last summer’s “Wall-E” which racked up $23.2 million.

Marking Pixar’s tenth feature, “Up” tells the story of an elderly man, as voiced by Ed Asner, who ties balloons to his house and embarks on a fantastic flight. Playing at 3,766 theaters, “Up” also received an extra lift at the box office yesterday from 1,530 3-D playdates.  “Up” is the fourth Disney animated pic to clear the $20 million mark on its first day along with “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E.”

Last June “Wall-E’ reaped an opening weekend of $63.1 million, but it is 2004’s “The Incredibles” which continues to own the three-day record for a Disney-Pixar release with $70.5 million. DreamWorks’ “Shrek the Third” still rules with the highest opening day of all-time for a feature toon at $38.4 million. 

Family auds at the multiplex also spilled into Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” as the pic landed second with $7.4 million in its second Friday, down 52% at 4,101 with a current domestic cume of $87.2 million.

Counterprogramming the moppet crowd, Universal unspooled Sam Raimi’s horror pic “Drag Me to Hell” which grossed $6.4 million off 2,508 in third.  The film marks a return to Raimi’s horror roots, his last blood and guts feature being 1993’s “Army of Darkness” which counted $11.5 million at the domestic B.O.  Looking to lure in a teen crowd, “Drag Me to Hell” is rated PG-13, unlike previous prolific summer horror titles that are branded with an R-rating.  Dimension’s “1408” was one of the last PG-13 horror sleepers from summers past, posting a $7.6 million first day and a $20.6 million weekend bow in June 2007.

In its second Friday, Warner Bros.-Halcyon’s “Terminator Salvation” drew $5.1 million in fourth off 3,602, down 65%, for a nine-day cume of $79.6 million. 

“Star Trek” became the first release in 2009 to eclipse the $200 million mark last night, collecting $3.6 million off 3,507 in fifth, repping a 39% decline