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‘Finding Dory’ just keeps swimming into box office records

finding dory highest grossing animated film ever in us pixar presto 0001
It was expected all along that animated sequel Finding Dory would win the weekend, but the sheer amount of tickets the film sold in its big-screen debut also earned it a place in the record books.

The followup to 2003’s oceanic adventure Finding NemoFinding Dory flooded theaters with audiences to the tune of $136.2 million, giving it the biggest opening weekend in history for an animated feature. The film passed 2007’s Shrek the Third ($121.6 million) to set the new record, and is also the only animated feature to ever crack the 20 biggest opening weekends of all time. It has the 18th highest grossing opening weekend of all time, between The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Although it didn’t enjoy the same caliber debut, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart’s action-comedy Central Intelligence did pretty well for itself at $34.5 million — a number right about halfway between the worst-case and best-case scenarios for the film, according to most pundits. Both Finding Dory and Central Intelligence received positive reviews from audiences and critics alike, so they should be in good shape.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Finding Dory $136.2M $136.2M $186.2M
2. Central Intelligence $34.5M $34.5M $41.3M
3. The Conjuring 2 $15.5M $71.7M $187.9M
4. Now You See Me 2 $9.6M $41.3M $91M
5. Warcraft $6.5M $37.7M $377.6M
6. X-Men: Apocalypse $5.2M $146M $510.1M
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows $5.2M $71.9M $142.7M
8. Me Before You $4.1M $46.3M $82.3M
9. Alice Through the Looking Glass $3.6M $69.3M $236M
10. Captain America: Civil War $2.3M $401.2M $1,144.9M

Also doing well is James Wan’s horror sequel The Conjuring 2, which added to its impressive box office tally with another $15.5 million in U.S. theaters, bringing its worldwide gross to $187.9 million. The film is still rolling along overseas, and will probably stick around longer than the typical horror movie does these days.

The outlook wasn’t nearly as good for Warcraft, director Duncan Jones’ big-budget adaptation of the hit video game franchise. The film’s weekend gross dropped more than 73 percent from its opening weekend — which was pretty disappointing to begin with — and earned just $6.5 million in its second week in theaters. While that certainly puts the $160 million film into “colossal flop” territory domestically, the story’s very different outside the U.S., where the film has earned almost $340 million already. The big question now becomes: How long can overseas theaters keep Warcraft alive?

This upcoming weekend features one major summer tentpole release, as well as several other notable films making their debuts in theaters.

Roland Emmerich’s blockbuster sci-fi sequel Independence Day: Resurgence opens 20 years after the original set a new standard for summer blockbusters, and it’s predicted to knock Finding Dory out of the top spot — but it could be close. Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey’s historical drama Free State of Jones, Blake Lively’s shark thriller The Shallows, Daniel Radcliffe’s farting-corpse adventure (yes, you read that correctly) Swiss Army Man, and Taika Waititi’s quirky comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople all arrive in theaters in the U.S. the same weekend.  So it’s anyone’s guess how the top ten will shake out.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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