Aside from Walt Disney Animation Studios' other runaway success from earlier this year that was and is Zootopia, Pixar Animation Studios is also hoping to bring in some big money with the theatrical release of Finding Dory this weekend (which is currently expected to be the second biggest box office opening of 2016). Following on the heels of the original motion picture Finding Nemo from way back in 2003, returning writer/director Andrew Stanton appears certain that the time is right for the blockbuster franchise to return to the big screen in full force.
Focusing the second time around on returning franchise favorite Dory (voiced once again by the inimitably charming Ellen DeGeneres), Finding Dory is set to take viewers on a whirlwind adventure as the forgetful blue tang fish searches for her long lost family. The sequel will feature turns from new voice actors like Ty Burrell (Modern Family) and Kaitlin Oslon (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as original characters Bailey the beluga whale and Destiny the whale shark, as well as returning cast members DeGeneres and Albert Brooks as Marlin the clown fish. The film has already set quite the high bar in terms of ticket sales after only one night in theaters.
According to Deadline, Finding Dory opened in 4,305 venues on opening night to a grand total of $9.2 million in ticket sales, and is currently on track to make over $100 million over the course of its opening weekend, which is a record breaking feat for an animated feature film. At its current box office revenue, the new Pixar movie has officially unseated the likes of former in-house competitors Toy Story 3 ($4 million opening night and $110.3 million opening weekend) and Inside Out ($3.7 million opening night and $90.4 million opening weekend). The movie has also beaten the likes of Universal/Illumination's animated feature productions preview night records of $6.2 million for Minions and $4.7 million for Despicable Me 2.
That being said, Finding Dory still has a way to go if it hopes to unseat the current reigning champ of the 2016 summer box office which is fellow Walt Disney Studios release (and Marvel Studios production) Captain America: Civil War - which, itself, is currently slated to become the first 2016 film to cross the $400 million mark at the box office. That being said, the new Pixar animated feature is faring well against its immediate competitor in the form of Central Intelligence, which also opened last night to $1.835 million in ticket sales and is expected to only make $30 million over the course of its respective opening weekend.
Everything appears to be looking up for Stanton's much anticipated sequel Finding Dory, which will presumably see a hefty profit at the box office over the course of the next three days. On that note, here's to the success of the new Pixar movie, and happy viewing to all of the fans who have been eagerly anticipating the movie.
Finding Dory is currently showing in U.S. theaters.