Pixar Animation remains undefeated at the US box-office races, thanks to a great opening weekend for Cars 2.
The Disney unit's animated sequel Cars 2 cruised to a number one finish with a 68 million dollar opening weekend, according to studio estimates. That makes 12 box office top places in a row for Pixar since the company's first feature film, 1995's Toy Story.
"It couldn't be any better than that. What an unbelievable track record these guys have," said Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney.
Cars 2 added 42.9 million dollars in 18 overseas markets, giving it a worldwide total of 110.9 million. In the US, Cars 2 nearly matched the 68.1 million dollar debut of Disney-Pixar's Up two years ago, though it was well below the company's record of 110.3 million for last year's Toy Story 3.
The original Cars had a 60.1 million dollar debut in 2006, but factoring in today's higher admission prices, it sold more tickets than Cars 2.
Cars 2 features Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy reprising their voice roles for race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck Mater as the two are caught up in a spy adventure during an international racing tour.
The movie overcame unusually harsh reviews for Pixar, whose films include such critical darlings as Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and WALL-E.
Premiering in second place was Cameron Diaz's classroom comedy Bad Teacher with 31 million dollars. The Sony Pictures release added 12.9 million overseas in about 10 countries.
While the Cars 2 cornered the family market, Bad Teacher was the weekend's grown-up choice, starring Diaz as a foul-mouthed, boozy, gold-digging educator.
"She just went with it with great abandonment. She totally just let it go," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony.