Disney's "Brave" rides to box office win
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Disney's new animated movie, "Brave," about a rebellious, red-headed princess battled to the top of movie box office charts over the weekend, scoring $80 million in ticket sales around the world.
The fairy tale from Disney's Pixar studio pulled in $66.7 million at domestic theaters from Friday through Sunday, plus $13.5 million from international markets. "Brave" easily topped new historical/horror mashup "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," which finished the weekend in third place.
The 3D "Brave" is set in the ancient Scottish highlands and centers around horseback-riding teen princess Merida, who defies her mother and her kingdom's traditions. Merida, voiced by Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald, must then use her courage and archery skills to undo a curse.
The movie brings the 13th consecutive No. 1 opening to Pixar, which has become Hollywood's most reliable studio during its 17-year history of making films. Starting with "Toy Story" in 1995, its 12 films before "Brave" have generated more than $7.2 billion in worldwide ticket sales, according to Hollywood.com.
Its 2010 film "Toy Story 3" was the biggest selling film that year, with $415 million in U.S. ticket sales and nearly $1.1 billion worldwide.
"Brave" is a departure for Pixar, and is its first film to feature a strong female as the lead character, following a long Disney tradition with female heroines that in recent years have included "Mulan" and "Pocahontas." "Brave" cost about $185 million to make.
Ahead of the weekend, industry tracking suggested "Brave" would secure between $55 million and $60 million in domestic ticket sales, putting the film line with most of Pixar's recent debuts, but the film topped expectations.
"Brave" knocked another animated family film, "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," to No. 2 after its two weeks in the top spot. The movie about a pack of escaped zoo animals took in $20 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters over the weekend, and the worldwide total since its debut rose to $157.6 million.
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