disney pixar's inside out joyMost box office pundits expected Disney/Pixar's "Inside Out" to cower before the might of "Jurassic World's" dinosaurs this weekend and become the first film in Pixar's 20 years of feature filmmaking to fail to open atop the box office chart. And while that's what happened, no one predicted that "Inside Out" would still set a box office record with its stunning estimated $91.1 million premiere.

No one was predicting better than $70 million for the cartoon. But on a per-screen basis, it actually came within a hair's-breadth of "Jurassic World," which earned $23,775 per venue, just $599 more than the $23,076 per screen that "Inside Out" scored.

Indeed, throughout a summer that (until "Jurassic World's" record-smashing debut last weekend) looked like it was going to slump well below last summer's numbers, industry observers have been consistently underestimating this season's hits. That includes the bean-counters at Disney itself, who went into the weekend expecting a $65-to-$70 million opening for "Inside Out" and found themselves adjusting their predictions upward almost hour-by-hour on Friday and Saturday. Even late Saturday, they were still predicting a mid-80s debut, while crossing their fingers to break $90 million. Admittedly, all studio marketers like to predict conservatively, so that it's a pleasant surprise if the movie surpasses expectations and less of a disappointment if it doesn't.

But even independent observers have been giving lowball predictions all summer, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Everybody was off by at least $80 million last weekend with "Jurassic World," and most were off by at least $20 million this weekend with "Inside Out."

Why have the pundits been so consistently wrong? Perhaps they're still stuck following conventional wisdom from years past about what's actually happening at the multiplex these days. Here are a few box office lessons for those who haven't reexamined the old maxims.

Originality isn't dead. Remember a few weeks ago, when pundits were writing off "Tomorrowland" and "Aloha" as failures of originality? Original movies don't work, the conventional wisdom said, and audiences now only want sequels and reboots. In fact, "Tomorrowland" and "Aloha" could be chalked up to failures of both marketing (how to sell a movie whose very premise is a secret, or can't be easily summarized in a sentence?) and execution (critics and audience both felt that neither film delivered).

This weekend, "Inside Out" shattered the record for the biggest opening weekend for a movie with an original screenplay. (The previous record-holder was 2009's "Avatar," at $77 million.) Granted, you could argue that the movie was easier for Disney to market than "Tomorrowland," since the Pixar brand is so strong, it practically sells itself, and since "Inside Out" is a movie that critics and audiences agree is actually good. Still, all these caveats prove is that audiences will go see an original movie if it's well-made and properly marketed.

3D isn't dead. It's long been assumed that American audiences aren't as fond of 3D as viewers overseas, since North American theaters slap costly glasses-rental surcharges on 3D or IMAX tickets. If as much as 15 or 20 percent of a movie's revenue was attributable to 3D screenings, that was a healthy number. So far, however, 47 percent of "Jurassic World" revenue has come from 3D screenings, and 11 percent has come from IMAX. That follows a trend for boosted 3D revenue for such summer 2015 movies as "San Andreas," "Mad Max: Fury Road," and "Avengers: Age of Ultron." "Inside Out" continued this trend with 28 percent of this weekend's earnings coming from 3D venues.

Female protagonists work. You'd think this would be obvious after the successes this summer of "Pitch Perfect 2," "Spy," and (arguably) "Mad Max: Fury Road." Not to mention the successes of other recent female-fronted Disney cartoon, especially "Frozen," the biggest animated box office hit of all time. Nonetheless, it helps to keep reminding Hollywood of this, especially with a movie whose principal voice cast is almost entirely female, and in a narrative that doesn't involve princesses. What's more, the movie has been a smash overseas, too, disproving the notion that the foreign audiences that are now the industry's most lucrative customers don't want to see women in lead roles.

The theatrical experience isn't dead. This may be the single biggest reason that this summer's hits are exceeding expectations. For along time, pundits have been declaring the multiplex dead, citing declining numbers of tickets sold. And yet, this summer's movies prove that, if you want to lure people off their couches and away from their home entertainment systems, all you have to do is release movies people actually want to see.