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Incredibles 2 just made box office history

The film’s record-breaking opening weekend confirms that Pixar is an unstoppable sequel machine.

The characters from The Incredibles Pixar
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Fourteen years later, the Incredibles are back on top of the box office. Incredibles 2, Pixar’s family superhero sequel to 2004’s The Incredibles, smashed a couple of records this weekend with a $180 million domestic opening, and an estimated global haul of $231 million ($51.5 million from the international market). Those numbers make it the biggest opening of all time for an animated film, ahead of Finding Dory, the eighth-largest opening of all time, and the second biggest June opening of all time behind Jurassic World.

When movies open this big, insiders often look to these sorts of numbers to figure out what they mean for the industry or the studios that produce it. Hence the existential hand-wringing over Solo’s unimpressive box office numbers, or the suggestion that superhero fatigue might be setting in after Deadpool 2’s opening weekend didn’t live up to predictions.

For Pixar, Incredibles 2’s big weekend comes at a tumultuous time for the venerated animation house, as it was recently announced that co-founder and creative chief John Lasseter will exit the company following allegations of sexual harassment that were made public at the end of last year; Disney announced earlier this month that he would leave the company permanently at the end of the year.

But it’s not clear how much the public, particularly Incredibles and Pixar fans, connects Lasseter’s alleged behavior and departure to Pixar, and whether that determines which Pixar movies they will or won’t see.

So perhaps the more immediate, concrete takeaway from Incredibles 2’s success is that Pixar has become extraordinarily good at making sequels that rake in tons of money: Incredibles 2 is the sixth sequel this decade for Pixar, and Finding Dory and Toy Story 3 are both among the five highest-grossing animated films of all time. And then there’s Toy Story 4 on the horizon in 2019. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: With good reviews and an A+ Cinemascore, Incredibles 2 is going to add a lot more to its already record-breaking haul before this is over.

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