'Finding Dory' set to break box office record for top animated opening

Industry analysts are estimating that Pixar's Finding Dory will top the $130M mark in its opening weekend. It is set to break the record of Shrek the Third which earned more than $121 when it debuted in 2007.

Finding Dory earned a total of $9.2 million on its Thursday night (June 16) previews, beating the record $6.2 million established by Minions last year.

(Image Credit: Movieclips Trailers, Pixar)

The sequel to Finding Nemo came 13 years after the original, but it's worth the wait. This time, it's not Nemo who's lost in the ocean, but the lovable Pacific regal blue tang that kids all over the world know as Dory.

As if being an amnesiac is not enough to make her feel lost every now and then, Dory actually gets lost at one point in the film, during her quest to find her real parents.

Don't worry, that's about the only spoiler we're gonna give you. The title Finding Dory itself is a giveaway, anyway.

If you're having second thoughts on whether a sequel can be just as good as the original, just look up the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, where it got a high 95% on its Tomatometer. Out of a total 162 reviews, 8 reviews rated it as "rotten". Critics gave it an average rating of 7.72 out of a perfect 10. The audience score is a bit lower, with 91% liking it. More than 133,000 users gave it an average 4.4/5.

Compare that with Finding Nemo's Tomatometer which stands at 99% based on 254 reviews. Its audience score is 86% based on 33.3 million user ratings.

Finding Dory's critics' score plus its strong social media presence just might make it possible for the film to break box office records of animated films. At present, Disney's Frozen (2013) is at the top of the highest grossing animated films with a worldwide gross of $1.287 billion while Minions is number 2 with $1.159 billion worldwide gross earnings.

If Finding Dory was able to snatch the Thursday preview record for animated film from Minions, will it also grab Minions' current second spot for highest grossing animated films? If it does that, Finding Dory will have a crack at the top spot currently held by Disney's Frozen.

Finding Dory features the voice of Ellen Degeneres as Dory, Albert Brooks as Marlin, and Ed O'Neill as Hank.

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