Disney 'Finding Dory' makes epic $400 M splash and that's no fish story!

Box Office: Pixar's 'Finding Dory' Swims Past $400M In Record Time - ForbesDisney Pixar "Finding Dory" made a record splash on opening weekend and that's no fish story! How big a splash? $135.1 million big, reported the Motley Fool on June 23. This qualified "Finding Dory" as the greatest catch for any cartoon movie opening, ever. "Finding Dory" out-swam its nearest competitor "Shrek the Third" and its prequel "Finding Nemo." In its second week playing, Finding Dory is still hauling in nets of viewers, even at smaller theaters like Michigan's Grand Haven 9. Finding Dory could give Disney's heaviest hitter "Frozen" some stiff competition.
What bait did Disney Pixar use in this box office smash? They had audiences at lost and found. Viewers are always hooked by small frail things alone and afraid. Tales of runaway, stray, abandoned, abducted and lost beings play on audience heartstrings. Be they homesick kids, animals, aliens, cars, monsters, even species-less critters (just what was Stitch of "Lilo and Stitch, anyway?)--audiences cheer for them all.
But there's more than just happy reunions at the end of Disney Pixar lines. It's not just a little-fish-lost tale. Disney Pixar "Finding Dory" and "Finding Nemo" hit on the classic David and Goliath theme. The little guy isn't just lost and alone. In fact, he or she is very much not alone. He's surrounded by big, scary, dangerous bad guys. Since Dory and Nemo don't have brawn, they have to use brains to outsmart the bullies. The Disney "Home Alone" series is the quintessential bully-busting stories. Little Dory and Nemo have to be courageous in some horrifying situations. And that's real bravery--not doing reckless stunts or showing off superior strength--but taking leaps of faith when you're tiny and scared scale-less.
Viewers like to feel protective of weaker creatures, but they love better seeing weak creatures learn to care for themselves. Take Disney "The Lion King" and "Bambie" and for example. It was cute when they were cuddly and vulnerable, but it was more reassuring when they grew up to be self-sufficient. That's the bittersweet joy of losing and Finding Dory and Finding Nemo. They learned, with a little help from friends, to live safely in their world. It's kind of like parenting, letting your Disney grow up. And therein lies the box office lure of Disney Pixar Finding Dory and Finding Nemo--watching the underdogs swim to the top and still stay cute!

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