WALL-E box office: Pixar’s animated feature is no. 1 while Angelina Jolie-James McAvoy thriller is a strong runner-up
June 27–29 weekend box office: As expected, the Walt Disney Studios/Pixar Animation’s computer-animated romantic sci-fi adventure WALL-E was the top movie in North America (U.S. and Canada only) this past weekend, collecting a hefty $63 million as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
To date, Pixar’s biggest domestic weekend debuts (not factoring in inflation) belong to The Incredibles ($70.4 million in 2004), Finding Nemo ($70.2 million in 2003), WALL-E, and Monsters, Inc. ($62.6 million in 2001).
In the WALL-E voice cast: Sound designer Ben Burtt (whose sound-designing credits, besides WALL-E, include Star Wars and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial), Elissa Knight, Fred Willard, Kathy Najimy, Pixar’s Pete Docter, and three-time Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver (Aliens, 1986; etc.). Andrew Stanton directed. Budget: An immodest $180 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses).
Trailing WALL-E with an impressive $50.9 million was Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted. Loosely based on the comic book miniseries by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones, the R-rated action thriller follows an accountant who, after discovering he’s the son of a professional assassin, joins his father’s secret fraternity. Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted, 1999), whose voice can also be heard in this year’s animated hit Kung Fu Panda, and James McAvoy star.
Also in the Wanted cast: Chris Pratt, Thomas Kretschmann, Common, Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby, 2004), and veteran Oscar nominee Terence Stamp (Billy Budd, 1962). Budget: $75 million.
Global blockbuster … but profitable at the box office?
Update: Disney/Pixar’s WALL-E ultimately collected $223.8 million domestically and $297.5 million internationally. Worldwide total: $521.3 million. Whether that monumental sum was enough to cover WALL-E’s total costs is unclear; ancillary revenues were likely needed for the animated movie to become profitable.
Its top international markets were Japan ($44 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($41.2 million), France* ($28 million), Germany ($24.1 million), Mexico ($17.7 million), Spain ($15 million), Australia ($14.2 million), Italy ($12.2 million), and Russia/CIS ($11.7 million).
The Angelina Jolie-James McAvoy thriller Wanted ultimately collected $134.5 million domestically and $208 million internationally. Worldwide total: A surely profitable $342.5 million.
Its top international markets were Russia/CIS ($26.4 million; director Timur Bekmambetov was born in Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union), Japan ($23.4 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($19.3 million), South Korea ($19.1 million), China ($10.8 million), Germany ($9.2 million), and France* ($9.2 million).
* Hollywood studios continue to list Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria as part of France.
Spy spoof Get Smart dethrones unimpressive The Incredible Hulk
June 20–22 weekend box office: Based on the 1960s television series starring Don Adams and Barbara Feldon, Peter Segal’s spy spoof Get Smart has ousted Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk from the top spot on the North American box office chart.
The Warner Bros. release starring Steve Martin and Anne Hathaway grossed $38.7 million, while the Universal release starring Edward Norton and Liv Tyler took in a relatively modest $22.1 million (down 50 percent on its second weekend out) – thus barely edging out Kung Fu Panda’s $21.9 million (down 35 percent on weekend no. 3).
Lastly, it’s clear that The Incredible Hulk won’t get even close to recouping its ~$150 million budget in the domestic market. Cume after two weekends: $97.1 million.
Update: The Steve Martin-Anne Hathaway comedy Get Smart ultimately collected $130.3 million domestically and $100.4 million internationally. Worldwide total: $230.7 million – at best making it barely profitable at the box office.
Its top international markets were Australia ($14.1 million), Mexico ($10.4 million), and the United Kingdom/Ireland ($9 million).
“WALL-E Box Office” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “WALL-E Box Office: One of Pixar’s Biggest Domestic Debuts” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about WALL-E, Wanted, Get Smart, The Incredible Hulk, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
WALL-E image: Pixar Animation Studios | Walt Disney Studios.
“WALL-E Box Office: One of Pixar’s Biggest Domestic Debuts” last updated in October 2022.