Pixar and Disney’s animated sequel Finding Dory made a huge splash at the Friday box office, swimming to a record $55 million from 4,305 theatres for a projected weekend opening of $139 million.
That would be more than enough to wrest the crown for top animated opening from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek the Third, which debuted to $121.6 million in 2007. To date, Pixar’s best opening is Toy Story 3 ($110.3 million).
Finding Dory‘s Friday haul marks the largest single day in history for an animated film, eclipsing the record $47 million earned by Shrek the Third on its first Saturday. Dory also grabbed an A Cinema Score.
Directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane, the sequel sees Ellen DeGeneres returning to voice the title role of Dory, the adorable blue fish beset with a bad case of short-term memory loss. Finding Nemo‘s Albert Brooks likewise returns to voice Marlin, while newcomer Hayden Rolence voices the character Nemo.
Finding Dory kicked things off by earning $9.2 million in Thursday-night previews. That’s also a record for an animated film, besting last year’s Minions ($6.2 million).