‘Toy Story 3’ Plays To $41M Friday, Heading For Pixar’s 11th No. 1 Opening

Pixar has done it again – for the 11th time.

The animation studio’s “Toy Story 3” earned a better-than-expected $41 million on Friday, according to studio estimates, and is heading for a $100 million opening weekend.

Should it hit triple digits, it’ll be only the third film to notch a $100 million-plus weekend in 2010, joining “Iron Man 2” ($128.1 million) and “Alice In Wonderland” ($116.1 million), with “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” likely to join the club as well upon its June 30 release.

Pixar’s previous best opening was for 2004’s “The Incredibles,” which earned over $70 million in its opening weekend.

With a No. 1 box office spot all but guaranteed, that will make Pixar 11 for 11 on No. 1 box office debuts, an unprecedented run that began with the first “Toy Story” in 1995.

Looking ahead, “Toy Story 3” will still have a ways to go before topping Pixar’s most successful film, 2003’s “Finding Nemo,” which notched nearly $340 million domestically overall.

Pixar’s incredible run hasn’t come only at the box office – the studio has won a total of 24 Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature nods for “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E” and “Up,” the latter of which was also nominated in the general Best Picture category at the 2010 Oscars.

For its part, the praise for “Toy Story 3” seems to have equaled that of its predecessors – it has a stunning 99 percent on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with 147 of 149 reviews coming in positive.

By contrast, last weekend’s No. 1, “The Karate Kid,” stands at 69 percent on the site, while fellow animated summer hit “Shrek Forever After” comes in at 54 percent.

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