No mere ''Domestic Disturbance'' could scare off the Pixar animated flick

Monsters, Inc.

There’s no other word for it but, well, Monstrous.

Surpassing even the most optimistic of expectations, Disney and Pixar’s computer-animated family comedy ”Monsters, Inc.” grossed a mammoth $63.5 million, according to estimates. The humongous debut ranks as the sixth-biggest opening ever and the best showing for an animated film, beating ”Toy Story 2’s” 1999 take of $57.4 million.

Perhaps even more rewarding for Disney is that ”Monsters, Inc.,” starring the voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman, obliterated the $42.3 million first weekend gross of ”Shrek,” the DreamWorks computer-animated blockbuster that has threatened the Disney cartoon crown. (It’s important to remember, though, that ”Shrek” actually did better in its second weekend than its first, which helped the film earn more than $267 million domestically.)

DreamWorks attempted to stymie ”Monsters”’ opening by releasing the DVD of ”Shrek” on Friday (usually DVDs come out of Tuesdays), but audiences were obviously undeterred, flocking instead to what they knew would be a tried-and-true Disney product.

Also opening impressively was Jet Li’s action thriller ”The One,” which placed second with $20 million. Li managed a $13.3 million debut with this summer’s ”Kiss of the Dragon,” but action fans apparently realized that this ”One” was a slicker and more expensive production (not to mention rated PG-13), amounting to Li’s biggest weekend take to date.

That pushed John Travolta back to No. 3 with $14.5 million for his latest drama, ”Domestic Disturbance.” Travolta fans certainly welcomed him back to a hero role (in this case, he’s battling his young son’s evil stepfather, played by Vince Vaughn). But given this is Travolta’s fourth movie in only 18 months (following the big-time flops ”Battlefield: Earth” and ”Lucky Numbers” and the mid-sized success ”Swordfish”), could even his most ardent supporters be experiencing Travolta overload?

As expected, last week’s top two films rounded out the top five. Kevin Spacey’s alien dramedy ”K-PAX” fell 38 percent to $10.7 million, while the horror thriller ”Thirteen Ghosts” plummeted 47 percent to $8 million. In other words, that movie is SO last Halloween.

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Domestic Disturbance

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 91 minutes
  • Harold Becker