Disney's "Cars 2" will give Pixar its 12th consecutive opening in the pole position this weekend, with an expected take in the mid-$60 million range, slightly higher than the $60 million debut of its 2006 predecessor because of the added horsepower of IMAX and 3-D, not to mention the largest licensee program in history.
Every film from the Pixar animation house, beginning with 1995's original "Toy Story," has opened at the top of the domestic chart, and together they've generated an astounding $6.6 billion in worldwide revenue to date.
Debuting at the other end of the movie spectrum this weekend is Sony's very R-rated comedy "Bad Teacher," starring Cameron Diaz as a decidedly uncouth junior high teacher. Following in the successful footsteps of its raunchy summer predecessors "Bridesmaids" and "The Hangover Part II," "Teacher" won't be all that bad in the mid-$20 million range. The film already debuted internationally this past weekend, earning $3.4 million in the U.K.
Last weekend's No. 1 film, Warner Bros.' "Green Lantern," has performed well midweek in the high $4 million range and is poised for a second weekend of around $20 million. This latest entry in the summer's superhero wars should have captured around $90 million in North American green by the end of the weekend.
Paramount's "Super 8" enters its third weekend with more than $80 million in domestic revenue and a fourth-place finish is likely with around $12 million for the Steven Spielberg/J.J. Abrams collaboration.
Rounding out the top five is Fox's PG-rated "Mr. Popper's Penguins," which last weekend enjoyed a better than expected third-place debut of $18.5 million and should waddle in with around $10 million this weekend after a modest midweek performance.
Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and a box office analyst for The Associated Press.