Pixar’s latest feature Finding Dory dove into US movie theatres this weekend, which seems rather unfair with the UK release date being an agonising five weeks away. In 2003, Finding Nemo became the highest grossing u-certificate film, and it looks like Pixar are onto another winner with Finding Dory. The film took $136.2m on its opening weekend – making it the most successful launch, not just in Pixar’s history, but in the history of animated film. Drowning out its competitors, Finding Dory dominates thanks to the ever-present power of Pixar.
North American Box Office, Weekend 10th June
1. Finding Dory – $136.2m
2. Central Intelligence – $34.5m
3 The Conjuring 2 – $15.6m
4. Now You See Me 2 – $9.7m
5. Warcraft – $6.5m
With its undeniable box office triumph, has the film’s critical response lived up to its financial success? Overall – reviews have been positive. With Finding Nemo being so universally loved, as well as coming to a definitive end plot-wise, caution surrounded any possible sequel for the fear of dragging out a standalone feat. It seems that all fear has been quashed, with audiences and critics loving Dory’s new adventure labeling it ‘one to remember’, hilariously. Here’s what they had to say:
‘Finding Dory argues, with lovely ingenuity and understatement, that what appear to be impairments might better be understood as strengths’ A. O. Scott: New York Times
‘If Finding Dory lacks the fresh surprise of its predecessor, it still brims with humor, heart and animation miracles’ Peter Travers: Rolling Stone
‘In short, Finding Dory offers a great deal to commend itself, especially as a family viewing experience’ Christopher Orr: The Atlantic
‘In deciding not to stray far from the first film in plot or tone, it makes for a pleasant, familiar, cheerfully unassuming fish-in-her-water tale’ Ann Hornaday: Washington Post
‘Finding Dory isn’t just a worthy sequel to Nemo, it also succeeds on its own – as a rousing tale of love and overcoming adversity’ Ben Kendrick·Screen Rant
‘Come for the life lessons. Stay for the bird with the crazy eyes’ Stephanie Zacharek: Time
‘Something sounded fishy going into “Finding Dory” — a premise that seemed to wade into the familiar waters’ Ethan Sacks: New York Daily News
‘Ellen DeGeneres excels in Pixar’s Finding Nemo sequel, and the cartoon universe gains a new eight-legged superhero – but a heavy-handed approach threatens to drown the film’s disability message’ Jordan Hoffman: The Guardian
‘Is Finding Dory better than Finding Nemo? It’s funnier and more intricate, but the tears it jerks have been jerked before. It’s not as original, not as deep’ David Edelstein: Vulture
‘Finding Dory can be touching, sweet and tender, but it’s compulsively, preposterously and steadfastly funny’ Joe Morgenstern: Wall Street Journal
It’s fair to say that Pixar’s focus has been heavily franchise-based in recent years, and the studio’s showing no signs of averting from this direction with the Cars 3, Toy Story 4 and The Incredibles 2 all in the pipeline. If this model is anything to go by, don’t be surprised if Disney announce another ‘Finding’ film in years to come. Finding Marlin, perhaps?
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Finding Dory will be the first Pixar feature to include LGBT representation. A transgender sting-ray and a lesbian couple appear in the film, which is an overdue yet welcomed aspect of Andrew Stanton’s latest work. Finding Dory is swims into UK cinemas 29th July. Just keep waiting, just keep waiting….