Toy Story 3, the long-awaited final installment in the lovable Pixar series, hit theaters this weekend, smashing the box office wide open. Bringing in just over $40 million on Friday night alone, TS3 will officially set the record for Pixar’s highest-opening movie after the weekend’s end, an article by Hollywood Insider stated.
The previous box office record was set by Pixar’s Finding Nemo back in 2003, which grossed $70 million in tickets during opening weekend. If TS3 ticket sales continue at the same rate, the movie could earn as much as $120 million for Father’s day weekend alone.
The reason for this surge of popularity over a silly kid’s movie involving a child’s play things? That’s simple. With the first movie in the trilogy having came out back in 1995, there are both adults and kids alike who are interested in seeing its conclusion. In fact, when my family and I went to the midnight premiere this week, we were surrounded by an entire theater full of high school-aged kids and up.
You’re probably wondering whether the movie is worth all of this hype. In my opinion, it most definitely fulfills the position of this summer’s best movie, thus far anyway. Even the majority of the nation’s critics agree.
Robert W. Butler of the Kansas City Star gave the movie 3.5 stars, an amazing rating in light of the fact that his publication only has 4 stars to hand out for each film.
“This isn’t Satire in the sandbox,” Butler wrote. “Well, it is, but it’s also a terrifically funny, awesomely entertaining experience that every once in awhile reduces us to blubbering wimps.”
Butler isn’t lying. It truly is a challenge to resist the emotional moments in TS3. In just under 2 hours of run-time, the movie will have you laughing out loud, cringing at every turn, and longing for the younger years.
But, just as every good story must come to an end, TS3 must conclude as well. And the director’s have done a good job of wrapping up their beloved storyline. Just as kids must grow up (contrary to Peter Pan’s beliefs), Toys must move on. We all must move on.
But don’t fret KC, once you’ve finished the movie, why not go home and give Disney Interactive’s TS3-inspired video game a whirl. Unlike most other film-related titles, TS3 was carefully crafted by designers who took the time to make a decent game.
Now available for the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC platforms, TS3 takes players through a story unique from the movie itself.
Players can work their way through the game in either story-mode or toy-box mode, each offering a variety of different features. In either mode, gamers will have the ability to play as Woody, Buzz, or Jessie, who each have their own special abilities needed for different areas in the game.
In story-mode, gamers will play their way through 8 unique levels inspired from various aspects of the three movies. For instance, ever wondered what it would be like to play the Buzz Lightyear game from the second Toy Story film? Now’s your chance!
Though the game certainly does stand on its own two-feet separate from the movie, I wouldn’t recommend playing it if you are at all the type of person who hates spoilers. It may not be an exact replica of the story line, however, it features a lot of the same scenarios.
The only complaints I have about the game, and they are highly limited, include the fact that it may be a little challenging for children, although designers have accounted for this in the various help modes made available throughout the game. Also, some of the levels seem a little too long. Perhaps the designers could have broken them up into smaller levels so as to keep the attention of adults a little better.
But who am I kidding, this game is for kids! Right?
Don’t take my word for it KC, take the game out for a spin on your console. TS3 is now available for purchase from your local GameStop retailer for just over $50 after tax. A separate version is also available for the DS for just under $30.
And don’t forget to swing by the theater this weekend and witness the toy’s final act for yourself! You’ll be sorry if you don’t.