Friday Box Office: ‘Finding Dory’ Swims to a Record-Breaking Animated Debut

     June 18, 2016

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The summer box office slump is officially over. Pixar and Disney’s Finding Dory made quite a splash at the Friday box office, taking home a record $55 Million for a projected weekend total of $140.6M. That total exceeds early predictions, which pegged Finding Dory for a possible $120M opening weekend, and it’s more than enough to claim the title of top animated opening from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek The Third, which has held the title for the last nine years with $121.6M.

The $55M+ Friday projections also earn Dory the title of highest single day earnings for an animated feature, beating Minions $46M opening day and Shrek the Third‘s previous record-holding $47M Saturday. Considering the heft of the weekend projection, it’s possible that Dory might go on to steal that title from itself with the Saturday earnings.

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Image via Disney

Directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane, the sequel toon sees Ellen DeGeneres return as the titular Dory, the adorable little fish with a bad case of memory loss who sets out on a quest to reunite with her long-lost parents. Accompanied by Nemo (newcomer Hayden Rolence) and Marlin (Albert Brooks), Dory’s voyage leads them to a number of new friends, including a white beluga whale named Destiny (Ty Burrell), a white shark (Kaitlin Olson) and a cranky octopus (Ed O’Neill).


In addition to the record-breaking box office, Dory also grabbed an A CinemaScore from audiences, making it the 11th Pixar feature to earn the high mark. The widest Pixar release ever with 4,305 theaters, Dory wrests another crown from Pixar’s previous best opening, Toy Story 3, which debuted in 2010 to $110.3M. You can check out a handy breakdown of Pixar’s box office history here.

The weekend’s other new release, Central Intelligence, opened steady with $13 Million in 3,508 theaters, landing the #2 box office spot and a projected $33M weekend total. New Line, Warner Bros. and Universal teamed up to foot the bill for the $50M action comedy with New Line releasing the film domestically with Universal handling international distribution.

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Image via Warner Bros

Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s spy comedy stars Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart as the mismatched duo at the heart of the action. The film follows Johnson’s Bob Stone, a hulking CIA agent and one-time teenage geek who returns home for his high school reunion and enlists his former classmate Calvin (Hart) to help clear his name after being framed for treason. Amy Ryan and Aaron Paul co-star. Central Intelligence landed an A- CinemaScore and is on track to land ahead of last summer’s espionage comedy Spy, which debuted to $29 Million.


Elsewhere, New Line’s The Conjuring 2 is poised to finish strong in its second frame, earning third place with an estimated $15-20M. James Wan‘s supernatural sequel opened to $40.4 last weekend, marking a steep 60% dropoff, but with an estimated $76 million domestic total in the first two weeks, the moderately budgeted horror sequel remains a bankable franchise for the studio.

Lionsgate’s Now You See Me 2 is headed for 4th place in its second weekend with 2.8M on friday for an estimated $9M weekend, with Universal and Legendary’s Warcraft following in the 5th slot with $1.9M for an estimated $5.9M — a huge 76% from its already soft debut weekend. That said, Warcraft continues to thrive outside the US market with an estimated $280M internationally.

Rank Movie Friday Total
1. Finding Dory $54,954,119 $54,954,119
2. Central Intelligence $13,005,000 $13,005,000
3. The Conjuring 2 $5,430,000 $61,605,086
4. Now You See Me 2 $2,810,000 $34,522,529
5. Warcraft $1,930,000 $33,121,525
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Image via Pixar


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