Welcome back, Woody and Buzz. The animated heroes of “Toy Story 3” sold $109 million worth of tickets during their opening weekend at the box office, reviving slow summer sales, according to estimates issued yesterday by distributor Walt Disney Co.
The film scored the best debut for a film produced by Disney’s Pixar Animation unit. The old mark of $70.5 million was set by “The Incredibles” in May 2004.
Pixar’s perfect record of 11 No. 1 movies also remains intact, as expected. In 1995, Woody the cowboy, Buzz Lightyear the spaceman and their pals in the toy chest starred in Pixar’s first release, “Toy Story,” a film that inaugurated the era of computer-generated animation. They returned in November 1999 with a sequel that opened to $57.3 million.
Ticket prices have risen since then, and “Toy Story 3” received an extra boost from premium pricing for 3-D screenings. Pundits had forecast a $100 million-plus opening for the film, which was universally acclaimed by critics.