‘Finding Dory’ Dethrones ‘Shrek the Third’ with $136M Start
After a earth-shattering $55 million opening day for Pixar’s 17th feature film, Finding Dory, it was the beginning of the end for DreamWorks Animation’s nine-year reign atop the animation genre. The Finding Nemo sequel made waves this weekend, opening to a estimated $136.2 million, topping Shrek the Third’s $121.6 million opening.
It’s been 13 years since the release of Pixar’s beloved Finding Nemo. And coincidentally enough, Nemo broke the animated record in May 2003 with a $70.3 million haul, topping the studio’s own Monsters, Inc. ($62.6 million). Think of Finding Dory more along the lines of Toy Story 3. The 2010 Academy Award winner nearly doubled the opening weekend of 1999’s Toy Story 2 with a $110.3 million start, ultimately resulting in finish just above $415 millon domestically.
Finding Dory certainly has its sights on the $400 million milestone in the coming months, which shouldn’t be too difficult to manage. Critically, Finding Dory is being receiving more on the lines of Pixar sequels like Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 rather than the less popular Cars 2 and Monsters University. While there will certainly be animated competition from Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets (July 8) and Blue Sky’s Ice Age: Collision Course (July 22), neither will pose enough of a threat to deny Finding Dory a viable chance at making history. After all, last year’s Inside Out locked horns with Illumination’s Minions a few weeks later and still pulled out a 4x multiplier and $356 million run. To break the all-time animation record, Finding Dory will need to pass Shrek 2’s $441 million gross that still stands from 2004.
Coming in a distant second is the Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson comedy, Central Intelligence. The Warner Bros. cop comedy grossed an estimated $34.5 million over the weekend. That’s on par with previous Hart comedies. Earlier this year, Ride Along 2 scored Hart a $35.2 million debut. His other recent comedies opened around the same numbers including Get Hard ($33.8 million), Think Like a Man Too ($29.2 million) and About Last Night ($25.6 million). While unable to crack the century mark since 2014’s Ride Along ($134.9 million), Central Intelligence could be the best bet without any live-action comedies on the radar until Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates on July 8th. This debut is also good news for Johnson, who hasn’t done much in the comedy genre, but still proves that he is a box office draw beyond action films.
Down two spots from last weekend, Warner Bros.’ horror sequel The Conjuring 2 dipped to third with $15.6 million. Unlike the first film, The Conjuring 2 is burning much quicker, dropping 62% in its sophomore frame. In comparison, the 2013 James Wan film declined a soft 46.9% its second weekend. That in itself defied horror box office standards, but the case cannot be made here for The Conjuring 2. There’s no doubt that the sequel will pass $100 million in the coming weeks, but it will fall short of the first film’s $137.4 million finish.
Lionsgate’s heist sequel, Now You See Me 2, declined one spot from last weekend, pulling another $9.7 million in its second weekend. As expected, the sequel starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and Lizzy Caplan will not have the legs of the first film. That still shouldn’t slow down the need for a Now You See Me 3, which is already being planned out. Expect Now You See Me 2 to finish around $75 million, down from the first film’s $117.4 million run in 2013.
Rounding out the Top 5 this weekend is Blizzard Entertainment adaptation, Warcraft. Crashing 73% from last weekend’s $24.2 million opening, the video game adaptation from Universal grossed $6.5 million in its second weekend. That’s a startling decline as Warcraft could end up being one of the most frontloaded movies of the summer. While a massive success overseas already over $300 million worldwide, Warcraft couldn’t capture the success domestically. The question is how will this affect future video game franchises like Assassin’s Creed, which looks to make the jump from console to big screen this December.
Both Finding Dory and Central Intelligence blew past my $125 million and $32 million box office predictions last Thursday.
Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.
#1 – Finding Dory (NR)
$136.2 million / $136.2 million total
#2 – Central Intelligence (NR)
$34.5 million / $34.5 million total
#3 – The Conjuring 2 (1)
$15.6 million / $71.7 million total
#4 – Now You See Me 2 (3)
$9.7 million / $41.4 million total
#5 – Warcraft (2)
$6.5 million / $37.7 million total
Opening Next Week: Independence Day: Resurgence, Free State of Jones, The Shallows, The Neon Demon, Swiss Army Man (limited)
Source: Box Office Mojo