The Blu-Ray version of Up which I purchased earlier this week trumpets that the film is the “#1 Animated Film of the Year!” with the exclamation point being their emphasis, not mine. While I certainly enjoyed Up very much, and fully expect it to win the Best Animated Film Oscar this year, and possibly even be nominated for Best Picture (thanks to the Best Picture nomination slate being expanded to ten films), this claim is only somewhat true. It’s true Up is the number one animated film of the year for the Domestic Box Office (which means the US and Canada), but in the global market (US, Canada and everywhere else), the actual #1 animated film of the year is Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
Indeed, it’s not even close: Up’s pulled in just over $500 million globally, which is really not bad, you know, but Ice Age: DotD has racked up a genuinely incredible $878 million, which is enough not only to give it the #1 animated film of 2009 crown, but also to place it at #15 on the list of all time global movie hits (unadjusted for inflation), and make it the #1 film of 2009 outside the domestic box office sphere, beating out the latest Harry Potter for that spot. Seriously, look it up. Or to put it another way, Ice Age’s non-domestic box office is $682 million, which means that it made about $175 million more outside the US and Canada than Up has made around the entire planet. As I said, add up all the money, it’s no contest.
I don’t have a problem with Disney bragging on the performance of Up, but I think strictly as a matter of truth in advertising that “#1 Animated Film of the Year!” notation needs an asterisk, which the packaging does not provide. Independently, I think the rest of the world gets a big, fat “WTF?” regarding Ice Age: DotD, which while amusing enough if you’re eight is not a film I would think the rest of the world should explode with squee over. But then, the #1 movie of 2009 in the Domestic Box Office arena is that damned Transformers sequel, so I don’t think the US and Canada can criticize overmuch, now, can we.