Finding Dory reels in record-breaking $183m
FINDING Dory made the biggest splash in the North American box office in its debut weekend, trawling in a massive US$136.2 million (S$183 million), industry data showed on Sunday.
Its opening weekend results anchored a new record for an animated-film opening.
It sailed past the previous high-water mark of US$121.6 million for Shrek The Third's launch in 2007.
Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, follows a very forgetful fish on a quest to find her parents, much as she did as a supporting character in the 2003 animated hit Finding Nemo.
The sequel blew the competition out of the water, including Central Intelligence, a comedy with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kevin Hart that was released on the same weekend.
The film about a spy who recruits a high-school buddy for an action-packed caper made a respectable US$34.5 million at the box office.
Last week's top earner, The Conjuring 2, dropped to third place with a US$15.5 million take in its second week in cinemas. The supernatural fright fest stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as a paranormal-investigating couple.
Now You See Me 2, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson as illusionists, dropped a notch to fourth after making an estimated US$9.6 million over the weekend, the crime-caper flick's second in theatres.
Fifth was Warcraft, a CGI extravaganza based on the hit video game World Of Warcraft. It starred Dominic Cooper, Travis Fimmel and Paula Patton.
The sequel to Finding Nemo was bolstered by strong reviews and residual affection for the Oscar-winning first film.
It is a return to form for Pixar after the animation studio behind Toy Story and The Incredibles suffered its first box-office failure last year with The Good Dinosaur.
Overseas, Finding Dory added another US$50 million to its haul from 29 international markets, including Australia, Argentina, Russia and China, where its US$17.5 million debut ranks as the biggest for a Pixar release.
The success of Finding Dory comes as Disney, Pixar's parent company, has dominated the movie business, fielding the year's three highest-grossing pictures globally in Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War.