Disney made a lot of money recently when Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War raked in over $1 billion at the box office. That pushed the Marvel Cinematic Universe to over $10 billion in combined sales between all its movies, and proved that Disney’s acquisition of Marvel was a smart one. Marvel isn’t the only studio cranking out moneymakers for Disney, though.
Pixar continues to be a reliable producer of hits for Disney as well, with last year’s Inside Out having been a major box office success and nabbing the record for biggest box office opening for an original movie. Pixar’s newest film is Finding Dory, and like most of its other films, Dory has hit the box office running with strong opening numbers. It kicked off its first weekend by breaking the animated movie domestic box office opening record with $136.1 million in earnings, and was expected to beat Independence Day: Resurgence at the box office this weekend. With numbers for the weekend starting to come in, the question is whether those expectations will hold up.
So far, the answer to that question is a definite yes. Variety reports that Finding Dory is continuing to pull in strong numbers at the box office for its second weekend, with estimates coming in at $75 million for the period – easily besting the $43 million expected to be earned by the Independence Day sequel. The drop-off is even sharper after that, with shark-centric thriller The Shallows projected to earn around $17 million and the Civil War-era drama Free State of Jones projected to come in at around $8 million for the frame.
The success of Finding Dory is not much of a surprise, with the full force of Disney’s marketing behind it and its predecessor Finding Nemo having been a big success with $936.7 million in box office earnings on a $94 million budget. Its release was also perfectly timed to coincide with kids having just gotten out of school for the summer and parents desperately needing something to keep them occupied. In addition, it has garnered some pretty favorable reviews, whereas the reviews for Independence Day: Resurgence have been mixed at best.
The target audiences for Finding Dory and Independence Day: Resurgence are fairly different, so the movies were not necessarily in direct competition. Still, 20th Century Fox might reconsider their plan to produce an Independence Day 3 based on the tepid reaction to the second one. Disney, on the other hand, is no doubt happy to have Pixar release sequels to its movies as long as they continue to make the amount of money they have.
Finding Dory is now playing in U.S. theaters.