MOVIES

'Finding Dory' Swims to Record Box Office Opening With Highest-Grossing Animated Film Debut

by Zach Seemayer 11:59 PM PDT, June 19, 2016
Photo: Disney/Pixar

Pixar's Finding Dory is swimming in cash after a massive $136.2 million opening weekend, setting a new record for the highest-grossing animated film debut in history.

Finding Dory, the sequel to Pixar's 2003 hit Finding Nemo, follows the titular amnesiac fish, played by Ellen DeGeneres, on her journey to find and reunite with her parents.

WATCH: 'Finding Dory' Is Equal Parts Heartwarming and Heartbreaking -- and Pixar's Best Sequel Yet

The film has been receiving rave reviews and universal acclaim from critics and audiences alike, including a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. The positive reception, coupled with long-standing adoration for Finding Nemo, helped push the film's debut numbers into the stratosphere.

The success of Finding Dory is great news for Pixar, who suffered their first domestic box-office failure last year with The Good Dinosaur.

WATCH: 'Finding Dory' Trailer Promises Action, Adventure, and More Adorableness

Finding Dory's wild bow blew Finding Nemo's opening weekend numbers out of the water. When Pixar's original fish tale swam into theaters 13 years ago, it earned $70.2 million in its first frame.

Nemo ended up netting $380.8 million domestically and $936.7 million worldwide, so Dory is already well on its way towards catching up and even surpassing its predecessor.

WATCH: Ellen DeGeneres Was 'Worried Her Voice Would Change' Before 'Finding Dory'

The previous Pixar film with the highest-grossing opening weekend was also a long-awaited sequel: Toy Story 3, which earned $110.3 million when it premiered in 2010.

ET recently sat down with DeGeneres who opened up about her role in Finding Dory. Check out the video below to hear what she had to say about playing everyone’s favorite forgetful fish.

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