Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3 earned $1.01 million at the U.S. box office this weekend, pushing the film past the $1 billion mark worldwide—a first for an animated feature.
Toy Story 3 ($1.012 billion) bypassed DreamWorks' Shrek 2 ($919.8 million/2004) as the highest grossing animated movie. It also became the seventh movie ever to reach $1 billion worldwide. For Disney, Toy Story 3 is the studio's second film to cross the billion mark this year, along with Alice in Wonderland ($1.024 billion). Disney first hit the milestone in 2006 with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1.066 billion).
"It's been an incredible year as we saw the Pixar team bring Buzz and Woody back to the big screen and watched Tim Burton's vision for Alice in Wonderland take the world by storm," says Rich Ross, chairman of Walt Disney Studios. "These box office triumphs prove that creative storytelling brought to life by imaginative, inspired and talented professionals is something audiences respond to the world over."
As previously reported in License! Global (March/April 2010), Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products, predicts Toy Story 3 will be the biggest merchandising event DCP has ever had that will only be eclipsed by Cars 2 next year. The Toy Story franchise is valued at $8 billion at retail. The Toy Story 3 licensing program includes more than 20 licensees, including Thinkway Toys, Mattel, The LEGO Group, Hasbro, Jakks Pacific and Fisher-Price. It also features 14 new toys, including a plush bear character named Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear from Thinkway Toys.