Thirteen years after the original made a major splash at the box office, Finding Dory hits theaters next weekend and looks to reinvigorate a somewhat slumping marketplace. The Disney/Pixar release is, of course, the sequel to 2003’s now classic Finding Nemo. Director Andrew Stanton is back, as are the voices of Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks. Plenty of other familiar faces make their voices heard here – Diane Keaton, Bill Hader, Idris Elba, Eugene Levy, Kate McKinnon, Ty Burrell, Ed O’Neill, and Dominic West among them.
The summer of 2016 has seen a host of sequels not matching up to their originals. Some of them have been family programming, like Alice Through the Looking Glass and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
It is highly likely that Dory will not suffer the same fate. In fact, the real question seems to be whether or not this will score Pixar’s largest opening weekend in its now 21 year history. That honor currently belongs to another sequel, 2010’s Toy Story 3, which debuted with $110.3 million. Dory is currently said to be tracking a bit above that. I believe it will surpass that number, but probably not by much (though with the sequelitis occurring recently, I do feel a touch of nervousness with this prediction). Still, if anything can break through – it’s this.
In order for it to score the second biggest animated premiere in history, it’d need to top the $115.7 million earned by last summer’s Minions. To get to #1, Dory would have to swim past the $121.6 million gross of Shrek the Third from 2007. It’s possible that it could achieve either one of those records.
I’ll predict Dory falls below Shrek and just above Minions to earn the #2 animated debut stateside and also set the Pixar record. That would go a long ways toward washing the bad taste out of the Mouse Factory’s mouths for Looking Glass and last fall’s The Good Dinosaur, which was the first Pixar title to lose money.
Finding Dory opening weekend prediction: $117.3 million
For my Central Intelligence prediction, click here: