You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Inside Out’ Poised To Be Best Picture Box Office Champ

The film quietly slid into third place on the domestic chart last weekend.

Something small but notable happened at the box office last weekend. No, it wasn’t “The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” beating out studio prestige pics like “Black Mass” and “Everest,” though that did happen. Rather, Pixar’s “Inside Out” moved up a notch to #3 on the year’s domestic chart, passing “Furious 7” and settling in behind “Jurassic World” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” with just over $352 million in receipts. It also moved past $750 million globally.

The film, still easily one of the year’s best, is looking stronger and stronger for a best picture nomination. It would be the first for an animated film since 2010’s “Toy Story 3,” also from the Pixar factory. What’s more, if it does claim a spot, it’s likely it would remain the highest grossing nominee in the category. I can’t imagine any of the other contenders coming close, really.

Meanwhile, a few of the season’s expected heavies are coming up just a little soft. “Black Mass” and “The Danish Girl,” while mostly well-received, have taken their share of critical knocks. The two strongest players coming out of the early fall festival frame — Toronto People’s Choice Award winner “Room” with Brie Larson and Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” with Michael Keaton — might even be seen as surprising, given that they come from indie distributors looking for first-ever best picture nominations.

“Steve Jobs” was a hit in Telluride, but its success (perhaps mercifully, given the season’s propensity for over-hype) was contained to that bubble as it prepares for a New York Film Festival centerpiece screening next month and a theatrical release soon after.

Considerations are also starting to shift to populist favorites, like Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” with Matt Damon, or F. Gary Gray’s “Straight Outta Compton.” There’s just an overall (exciting, I might add) sense of uncertainty as things continue to unfold this year. That protean quality keeps earlier home runs like “Inside Out” front of mind.

However, I’d like to add — as I have elsewhere — that Pete Docter absolutely deserves to be in the best director conversation as well. It’s sort of ridiculous that we can often talk about animated contenders in the expanded best picture paradigm, but the filmmakers behind them remain second-class citizens in the discussion. This is expert craft and storytelling, full stop. So here’s hoping members of the directors’ branch of the Academy see it the same way.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Calm With Horses

    Nick Rowland Talks About Toronto Debut Film 'Calm With Horses'

    “Calm with Horses,” which made its world premiere in Toronto’s TIFF in the Discovery section, is the feature directorial debut of Nick Rowland (Amazon series “Ripper Street”), and stars Barry Keoghan (Marvel’s upcoming “The Eternals,” “Dunkirk”), Cosmo Jarvis (“Annihilation”), and Niamh Algar (BBC’s “The Virtues”). The script, which was adapted from Colin Barrett’s short story [...]

  • Colin Trevorrow Directs Jurassic World Short

    Colin Trevorrow Returns to Jurassic World in Short Film 'Battle at Big Rock'

    Dinosaurs are roaming the Earth again. In a new short from “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow, rogue beasts wreak havoc on a family camping trip. The eight-and-a-half minute film, titled “Battle at Big Rock,” takes place a year after the events of “Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.” The 2018 blockbuster — starring Chris Pratt and Bryce [...]

  • Bert Kreischer The Machine

    Legendary Lands Rights to Bert Kreischer’s Viral Story 'The Machine' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Legendary has optioned the rights to develop comedian Bert Kreischer’s story “The Machine” into a feature film following its viral success, sources tell Variety. The video has generated more than 85 million views on Facebook and YouTube since hitting the social media channels in December 2016 and Legendary moved aggressively to land the rights. Kreischer [...]

  • Margot Robbie poses at the launch

    Margot Robbie in Talks to Executive Produce, Star in Comedy 'Fools Day'

    Margot Robbie is in negotiations to executive produce and star as a fourth-grade teacher in New Line’s comedy “Fools Day.” New Line has acquired Cody Blue Snider’s short film of the same name to adapt into the feature project. Snider, who co-wrote and directed the short, will direct the full-length feature from a script he [...]

  • M Night Shyamalan'Glass' film premiere, Arrivals,

    M. Night Shyamalan Sets Two New Films at Universal

    M. Night Shyamalan will write and direct two new movies at Universal Pictures, the studio announced Monday. The currently untitled thrillers will be released in theaters on Feb. 26, 2021 and Feb. 17, 2023, respectively. “M. Night Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats,” [...]

  • La Llorona

    Venice Film Review: 'La Llorona'

    Guatamalan writer-director Jayro Bustamante had a dream debut with “Ixcanul” in 2015: The richly textured folk drama premiered in Competition at Berlin and won him the Alfred Bauer Prize, before going on to healthy international arthouse exposure. So it’s surprising that Bustamante’s subsequent work, while amply delivering on his first feature’s promise, has been comparatively [...]

  • La vaca

    Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Boards Debut by Chile’s Francisca Alegria (EXCLUSIVE)

    In what marks the company’s first Latin American project, Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Pictures has boarded Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegria’s debut feature, “The Cow Who Sang a Song About the Future.” The multi-Emmy-winning actor and his El Dorado partner Casey Bader will serve as executive producers of the film, slated to start principal photography in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content