LOS ANGELES May 31 Disney/Pixar's "Up" soared
to the top of the weekend box office in North America, selling
$68.2 million of tickets on its opening weekend, Disney said
said on Sunday.
The 3D animated tale of a grouchy widower and a young boy
who fly away in a house lifted by balloons scored the third
biggest opening for Pixar after "The Incredibles" and "Finding
Nemo", which brought in $70.5 million and $70.3 million
respectively in 2004 and 2003.
Box office pundits had expected "Up," which became the
first animated feature to open the Cannes Film Festival this
month and was highly praised by critics, to open in the $50 to
$60 million range.
"Up" pushed "Night at the Museum: Battle of the
Smithsonian" into second place with $25.5 million in another
good week for family-oriented movies with broad appeal.
Horror newcomer "Drag Me To Hell" from "Spider-Man"
director Sam Raimi, opened in third place with $16.6 million,
according to studio estimates.
"Up" was released by Walt Disney Pictures, a unit of Walt
Disney Co (DIS.N). Night at the Museum: Battle of the
Smithsonian" was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of News
Corp NWSA.0. "Drag Me to Hell" was released by Universal
Pictures, a unit of General Electric Co's (GE.N) NBC
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)