Pixar may have made their worst film yet, but the critics have not put off movie goers, with Cars 2 doing better than expected on opening day. The original Cars (2006) is generally considered to be a failure by Pixar's high standards, and the sequel has been beset by bad reviews. USA Today claimed that "Cars 2 demonstrates that not every hit movie merits a sequel", while the New York Times criticised the lack of an emotional centre to the film compared to recent hits such as Up and Wall-E: "Cars 2 is certainly built to move merchandise - this series may surpass even the Toy Story films as an effective advertisement for licensed playthings - but it is notably lacking in soul or sublimity." The film has the lowest ever score for a Pixar film on Rotten Tomatoes, with only 33% of critics giving it a positive review.
However, Entertainment Weekly have reported that the film's performance at the box office has been better than expected, grossing $25.7 million on opening day, which means Pixar may be set for a $70 million opening weekend. Insiders had thought that the best they could expect was $50 million. This would make Cars 2 the best debut for an animated film since 2010's Toy Story 3, which made $110 million, and put it alongside Pixar classics such as The Incredibles and Finding Nemo, which both took around $70 million. Cars 2 is the first film directed by Pixar chief John Lasseter since the original Cars.