Finding Dory Finds Cash: Lots of It

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Don’t buy a blue tang fish. Just don’t. As Adam Holz pointed out a few blogs ago, the last thing the natural world needs is a run on blue tang fish.

But if you wanted to, hypothetically, buy one, it’d run you about $50 at Petco. And that means that Pixar’s forgetful fish Dory—if someone gave her all the money she pulled in at the box office this weekend—could buy herself about 2.7 million times.

Finding Dory, sequel to Disney/Pixar’s classic Finding Nemo, broke out of the year’s sequel slump in a massive way, banking an estimated $136.2 million in North America and netting a couple of box office records to boat—er, boot. It was the highest opening weekend for an animated movie in history, and it also notched the biggest opening day for an animated movie ever, floating to about $54.9 million (technically beating Shrek the Third’s $47 million debut).

Finding Dory’s victory marks the 11th time already this year that a Disney flick has topped the box office—not bad, considering it’s still just June. It’s also the third Disney movie to earn more than $100 million during its debut weekend this year, joining Captain America: Civil War ($179.1 million) and The Jungle Book ($103.3 million). Sing along with me now: Just keep earning, just keep earning

With the local multiplex looking so fishy these days, there wasn’t a lot of extra green to go around. Central Intelligence, another newcomer, was the best of the rest. The Dwayne Johnson/Kevin Hart action/comedy mustered a modest box office bang, collecting $34.5 million for the weekend—not Dory money, certainly, but still enough to buy a nice, 24-carat goldfish or two.

The rest of the Top Five was populated by familiar faces from last week. The Conjuring 2, last week’s winner, slid to third with a frightening $15.6 million. Now You See Me 2 yanked another $9.7 million from its well-worn hat, and Warcraft somehow lured another $6.5 million worth of moviegoers into its CGI arms. Go figure.

Final figures update: 1. Finding Dory, $135.1 million; 2. Central Intelligence, $35.5 million; 3. The Conjuring 2, $14.9 million; 4. Now You See Me 2, $9.4 million; 5. Warcraft, $7.2 million.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Rhoda Cormier More than 1 year ago
Probably won't see it...Don't really care...I think Disney has made way far better movies in the past. The first nemo movie in my own opinion wasn't nearly as good as say "cinderella" or even "inside out." :) It reminds me of zootopia- way way overrated...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought Finding Nemo was overrated when it first came out, it's grown on me over the years though. It holds up better than a lot of the other Pixar movies that I thought I liked better, "Cars" being an example. I wish Disney wasn't so political so I could support some of these newer movies. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As much as I want to, I will not be seeing Finding Dory. This will be the first real Pixar movie I skip in my life. (The Good Dinosaur doesn't count as a real Pixar movie for me--though I intentionally skipped it because of the evolution content) I am just sick of all the LGBT stuff; and even though it's technically not there in the content, having to wait for the review to see if there is a "transgender" sting-ray in a Pixar movie just saps all the joy out, you know? So, even if all the controversy is manufactured (probably intentionally to test the waters for the next time) it left a bad taste in my mouth to a point that I don't even want to be associated with this movie at this point. And, also, I am sure some interview in the future will play out with a wink wink, nod nod, "Yea, that was an "L" couple". Its happened so many times before (retroactive sexuality declarations), I am just waiting to tell people "I told you so".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

The evolutionary content in The Good Dinosaur didn't really ruin the movie for me (though in all honesty, you aren't missing much if you skip it). But how does it not count as a Pixar movie?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It just seemed more Disney and more "cartoony" to me; More of a marketing ploy, than a conscious storytelling effort like the older Pixar efforts and even the newer sequals. Plus, it wasn't a big event--it came out a few months after Inside Out. Pixar movies used to come out only every year or few years and it always seemed like a big event with lots of media buzz; The Good Dinosaur really lacked that from what I could tell. I know it's no big deal how one categorizes it; it's not a technical calculation, but all the things I describe above just made me feel like The Good Dinosour was a Disney movie with Pixar's name on it rather than the other way around.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, I have knowledge of the world and I can't just go back to being innocent as much as I wish I could. We are losing the culture wars and it's because people let themselves be strung along until it's too late to jump off the bandwagon. Jokes about transgenderism are not funny and implications of homosexuality are not innocent. 

The way I see it, if I am correct about my test case theory: you give them money for the test case, it's one step closer to them including the real stuff. And this would be the second test case as Frozen was the first one. Listen, I don't enjoy this and I didn't even know about any of the controversy regarding the couple until I read the review. I grew up on Pixar films. At 24 (and I've been reading PIO for 10 years), I've only come into this culture that older generations have created. I'm really disheartened by your perceived condescending tone, as I just feel like people are being naive about where Disney and Pixar could be headed. By the time conservatives and Christians wake up (that's huge if), our silly little million dollar or even 100 million dollar boycott, will be silly to Disney--I mean the already celebrate "Pride" in their parks. They already don't care what we think. I don't know what the solution is, but we need to start coming up with something--at least if you care about the heart of this culture. 
seraph_unsung More than 1 year ago
The thing about a lot of the LGBT depictions in cases like this, is that I think they're meant to portray LGBT people as normal and ordinary (not so much in contrast to Christian ideas of sinfulness, necessarily, but to stereotypes like LGBT people preying on children, or being carnally obsessed, or how they can sometimes wind up as cannon-fodder in dramas or horror films, or what have you).  Plugged In pointed out the gay person in How to Train Your Dragon 2, but his portrayal (never married for an unspecified reason) was so ambiguous that I concluded he must have been a eunuch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I understand the purpose of including this type of stuff. But I'm not fighting a strawman, I'm interested in stopping the normalization of deviant and dangerous behaviors and identity or lifestyle choices. This is a debate for a different forum regarding how and why I come to those harsh criticisms. But I say here that depicting something as good that is not good and guarding yourself and children against that is what media discernment is all about. The reason LGBT is excepted as normal at this point in time is due to positive depictions in adult orientated media and entertainment. Pushing their propaganda in children's entertianiment is the next step and we're already pretty far along in that process, see: Disney Channel's Good Luck Charlie, Nick's The Legend of Korra, Frozen, and (your example which was confirmed by the actor and creators not just discovered by PIO) the improv in HTTYD 2. Are these cases explicit in their depictions? No. But they'll get there, if they haven't already. You're late to the party. 
Elijah Abanto More than 1 year ago
It's good that films like Finding Dory are getting to the top box office!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First Comment Guy

One small error in your post Paul; the last record holder for biggest opening weekend for an animated film was Shrek the Third with $120 million.

Anyway Paul is right in saying that Disney is pretty much king of 2016, and the year isn't even half way through! In addition to Zootopia, Jungle Book, Civil War and Finding Dory, we still have The BFG, Doctor Strange and Rogue One! Let's not get started on what Disney has in store for 2017!

I haven't seen Finding Dory yet, but I will soon.