Early Weekend Estimates: ‘Finding Dory’ Swims Away with Animated Record $139M Launch; ‘Central Intelligence’ Eyes Strong $35M

Disney and Pixar have done it again.

The studios report Finding Dory earned a massive $54.954 million on opening day Friday, including Thursday evening’s $9.2 million launch. Both of those figures establish new records among any animated film in history, toppling previous holder Minions on both accounts. The latter title pulled an opening day of $46.04 million last July, a figure Dory handily bested by over 19 percent. In fact, Pixar’s latest even swam past the $48 million inflation-adjusted first day gross of 2007’s Shrek the Third, which — until now — had held the title for estimated ticket sales by an animated movie in a single day.

The long-awaited sequel to the beloved “new classic” Finding Nemo now eyes the all-time animated weekend record, which it should achieve. That trophy also belonged to Shrek the Third ($121.6 million) entering the weekend, but Finding Dory looks to blow it out of the water by a substantial amount. By extension, Dory also sets a new benchmark for Pixar itself as Toy Story 3 ($41.15 million opening day / $110.3 million opening weekend) will no longer sit atop the throne after this weekend. Incredibly, this opening day figure also stands 80 percent higher than that of Monsters University ($30.47 million) three years ago.

In addition to those records, Finding Dory also claims the best opening day of all-time for a PG-rated film (again topping Minions), and the third highest opening day of 2016 so far (trailing only Batman v Superman‘s $81.6 million and Captain America: Civil War‘s $75.5 million). The sequel surpasses Man of Steel as the third highest all-around opening day ever posted in June (trailing only Jurassic World‘s $81.95 million and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse‘s $68.5 million).

Extraordinary social media buzz, fervent anticipation across multiple generations of families, and strong critical reviews paved the way for Dory‘s arrival on the scene this weekend. Not to be forgotten is the star power of leading lady Ellen Degeneres, who heavily promoted the film on her popular daytime talk show for months in advance.

With Father’s Day in play tomorrow, families will be turning out all weekend (and, likely, all summer) as positive word of mouth spreads quickly. The film boasts an impressive 95 percent critical score and 91 percent audience score as of this morning, generally in line with day-after-release scores for last year’s Inside Out.

In terms of where Dory could land for the weekend as a whole, Disney is currently projecting a range of anywhere between $130 million and $145 million. The higher half of that range seems more likely given early word of mouth and a likely-to-be-soft drop on Sunday due to Father’s Day, but ultimately comparisons are tricky given the rarity of animated movies to perform at this level. Boxoffice is projecting a new animated opening weekend record of $139 million, fulfilling bullish pre-release expectations.

Central Intelligence successfully counter-programmed the animated juggernaut as it bowed to a strong $13 million opening day yesterday, including Thursday night’s $1.835 million. The co-production between Warner Bros. and Universal is delivering on its star-led appeal as Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart each add yet another winner to their resumes. Friday’s take was in line with the $12.9 million first day of last year’s Get Hard, 26 percent ahead of Spy‘s $10.3 million, and just 2 percent behind 21 Jump Street‘s $13.2 million opening day in March 2012. The studios report a very healthy “A-” CinemaScore to go along with a 75 percent audience score on Flixster and a decent 67 percent from critics. With Father’s Day almost sure to reel in more fans of the two leads this weekend, we’re projecting an opening weekend in line with predictions around $35 million.

Landing in third place yesterday, The Conjuring 2 was off 67 percent from opening day last week to $5.43 million yesterday. That gives the strongly-received horror sequel a strong eight-day domestic haul of $61.6 million (trailing its predecessor by 11 percent and leading sister spin-off title Annabelle by 21 percent). Boxoffice projects a healthy sophomore frame around $15.3 million.

Capping off the top five, Now You See Me 2 posted $2.81 million in fourth place to begin its second frame. The sequel stands at $34.5 million through eight days of play and eyes a $9.5 million weekend. Meanwhile, Warcraft slid 82 percent from opening day last week to $1.93 million yesterday. It stands with a $33.1 million domestic total and should bring in close to $5.9 million this weekend.

Boxoffice’s early weekend estimates are below.

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Finding Dory $139,000,000 4,305 $32,288 $139,000,000 1 Disney
2 Central Intelligence $35,000,000 3,508 $9,977 $35,000,000 1 Warner Bros. / New Line
3 The Conjuring 2 $15,300,000 -62% 3,356 13 $4,559 $71,475,086 2 Warner Bros. / New Line
4 Now You See Me 2 $9,500,000 -58% 3,232 0 $2,939 $41,212,529 2 Lionsgate / Summit
5 Warcraft $5,900,000 -76% 3,406 6 $1,732 $37,091,525 2 Universal
6 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows $5,600,000 -61% 3,086 -985 $1,815 $72,329,574 3 Paramount
7 X-Men: Apocalypse $5,000,000 -50% 2,632 -953 $1,900 $145,847,836 4 Fox
8 Me Before You $4,500,000 -50% 2,645 -117 $1,701 $46,700,854 3 Warner Bros. / New Line
9 Alice Through the Looking Glass $4,400,000 -22% 1,880 -1018 $2,340 $70,102,924 4 Disney
10 Captain America: Civil War $2,200,000 -49% 1,434 -667 $1,534 $401,180,969 7 Disney
11 The Angry Birds Movie $1,700,000 -74% 2,021 -1062 $841 $103,190,847 5 Sony / Columbia

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 The Jungle Book (2016) $1,400,000 -49% 953 -543 $1,469 $355,820,651 10 Disney
2 Zootopia $970,000 74% 305 -14 $3,180 $339,529,489 16 Disney
3 The Nice Guys $905,000 -54% 522 -625 $1,734 $34,269,096 5 Warner Bros.
4 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising $345,000 -84% 464 -1117 $744 $54,535,865 5 Universal
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