There was no mystery behind “Finding Dory” opening with a bang. Over 25 million liked the forgetful blue tang on Facebook. Millions more watched the trailers. Justin Bieber gave the movie a shout out to his more than 83 million followers on Twitter, and his Tweet was retweeted over 90,000 times.
I need to see #FindingDory
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) June 18, 2016
But enough about Twitter—here are the numbers.
The movie is expected to bring home over $136 million from its opening weekend, according to the latest Disney estimates reported by Deadline.
That beats “Shrek the Third,” which opened at over $121 million for the previous highest grossing animated feature opening weekend.
It’s also the second highest June opening, trailing last year’s “Jurassic World” that cashed in almost $209 million during its first weekend.
“Finding Dory”—Pixar’s sequel to its 2003 hit “Finding Nemo”—managed to impress movie critics as well. Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic averaged the reviews at 7.7 of 10 and 78 of 100 respectively.
Apart from universal praise for Pixar’s animation quality and voice acting of Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, some reviewers also relished in the moral and emotional impact of the film.
“The best Pixar films maintain a level of emotional richness and truth to life as actually lived and felt that’s almost unknown in Hollywood movies, animated or otherwise,” Mark Feeney wrote for Boston Globe. “The title of “Finding Dory” reminds us of that. Her journey of discovery begins, and ends, in the most important place of all, inside. What Dory ultimately finds is herself.”
Among the elements criticized, the sequel doesn’t check all the flags of the original. A sizable portion of the film takes place in an Aquarium, and so lacks some of “the grandiosity of the open ocean” that “Finding Nemo” had, NPR’s Andrew Lapin noted.
Dory’s flick is still child-friendly and lacks a “true villain,” Lapin wrote. But some themes of separation from family and some scary scenes found their way in. As Feeney wrote, “it’s often darker than its predecessor.”
“Finding Dory” is the highest opening weekend-grossing PG-rated movie ever, according to BoxOfficeMojo.