Hank, voiced by Ed O'Neill, left, and Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, in ‘Finding Dory’ (Photo: Pixar/Disney via AP)
By Pamela McClintock and Rebecca Ford, The Hollywood Reporter
Pixar and Disney’s animated sequel Finding Dory is making a huge splash at the Friday box office, where it’s on course to earn $50 million-plus for the day alone on its way to a record opening of $125 million-$130 million.
That would be more than enough to take the crown away from Shrek the Third (2007), which boasts the top domestic debut of all time for an animated film with $121.6 million, not accounting for inflation.
Related: ‘Finding Dory’: Film Review
Finding Dory kicked things off by earning $9.2 million in Thursday-night previews. That’s also a record for an animated film, besting last year’s Minions ($6.2 million).
To date, Pixar’s best domestic opening is Toy Story 3 ($110.3 million).
Finding Dory, directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane, sees Ellen DeGeneres returning to voice the title role of Dory, while Finding Nemo’s Albert Brooks returns to voice Marlin. This time out, Hayden Rolence voices the character Nemo.
The story centers on Dory this time around, and her attempts to reunite with her family even as she battles an endless cycle of amnesia. Accompanied by Nemo and Marlin, Dory arrives at a marine institute, where she engages with new friends, including a white beluga whale named Destiny (Ty Burrell), a white shark (Kaitlin Olson), and a cranky octopus (Ed O'Neill).
The weekend’s other new offering is Central Intelligence, the action comedy pairing Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart on the big screen for the first time. The movie is off to a solid start at the Friday box office for a projected weekend debut in the $30 million-$34 million range.
Central Intelligence, directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, follows a CIA agent (Johnson), a one-time teenage geek returning home for his high-school reunion, who enlists his former classmate (Hart) to help him complete a mission. Amy Ryan and Aaron Paul co-star.
New Line, Warner Bros. and Universal teamed on Central Intelligence, which cost roughly $50 million to produce.
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