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‘Finding Dory’ Breaks Animated Box Office Record With $9.2 Million Thursday

Dwayne Johnson’s ”Central Intelligence“ earns $1.84 million

“Finding Dory” has already broken a major box office record with a $9.2 million haul on Thursday, easily topping “Minions,” which previously held the record for highest grossing animated movie during Thursday previews.

“Minions,” released by Universal in 2015, grossed $6.2 million on a Thursday, while previous franchise installment “Despicable Me” grossed $4.7 million on a Thursday, as well.

“Dory,” a sequel to “Finding Nemo,” crushed previous Pixar opening performances, including $4 million for “Toy Story 3” and $3.7 for “Inside Out.”

“Finding Dory” is expected to open with an estimated $125 million, and is fighting for the position of the top opening for animated film of all time, currently held by “Shrek the Third” with $121.6 million. If it beats the opening of “Toy Story 3,” which earned $110 million in 2010, it would at least break a Pixar record.

Heading into the weekend, “Dory” was Fandango’s top pre-selling animated movie of all time, beating previous record holder “Minions.”

The sequel comes 13 years after “Finding Nemo,” which opened to $70.2 million and has grossed $936.7 million worldwide since.

“Finding Dory” features the voices of Ellen DeGeneresEd O’NeillTy Burrell,Diane Keaton and Albert Brooks, and currently holds a “fresh” score of 95 percent on critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart‘s action comedy “Central Intelligence” fought its way to $1.84 million at the Thursday previews.

Heading into the weekend, the film is projected to earn $35 million.

“Central Intelligence” is about a man named Calvin (Hart) whose life didn’t turn out the way he had anticipated. Enter Bob Stone (Johnson), Calvin’s once-bullied high school classmate turned CIA agent. Bob enlists Calvin to help him on a top-secret mission, causing all sorts of ruckus.

The action-comedy now has a score of 60 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and social media hype has been strong — Johnson and Hart asked for video reactions of fans after the Thursday night showings.

The Thursday preview gross is a great start — in comparison, Hart’s “Ride Along 2” earned $1.26 million on that day back in January. “Barbershop: The Next Cut” made $735,000.

New Line, Warner Bros. and Universal’s “Central Intelligence” cost roughly $50 million to produce.