Disney Pixar's animated sequel Incredibles 2 got off to a great start on Thursday night by setting a new box office record in a rather commanding fashion. Incredibles 2 earned an impressive $18.5 million from Thursday screenings, which is more than double the previous record of $9.2 million, set in 2016 by another Disney Pixar animated sequel, Finding Dory. Many box office analysts predicted that Incredibles 2 would beat Finding Dory's $135 million record for the highest animated movie debut, which seems even more likely now.
While the $18.5 million tally falls short of superhero blockbusters Deadpool 2 ($18.6 million), Black Panther ($25.2 million) and Avengers: Infinity War ($39 million), it did fare better than other recent hits. Incredibles 2's tally bested Beauty and the Beast ($16.3 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($15.4 million) and Thor: Ragnarok ($14.5 million). Our summer movie box office predictions from last month put Incredibles 2 opening weekend at $138.1 million, which is just short of the $140 million projection from analysts last month, but still enough to break Finding Dory's all time box office record.
Incredibles 2 is also getting plenty of help from critics, posting an impressive certified Fresh rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it's also worth noting that this is the first animated movie in wide release since Sherlock Gnomes in March. Incredibles 2 will open in 4,410 theaters starting today, which is the fourth widest debut of all time, behind The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (4,468 theaters), Avengers: Infinity War ($4,474 theaters) and Despicable Me 3 (4,529 theaters). While it won't have too much competition this weekend, it will need as big an opening as possible, since it will face Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom next weekend.
Incredibles 2 will be facing Warner Bros.' R-rated comedy Tag, which earned $1.3 million in Thursday previews, and Sony's Superfly, which earned $1.2 million on its opening day. Tag will open in 3,382 theaters starting today, and it's expected to open between $12 million and $16 million this weekend. Superfly opened in 2,220 theaters and will likely pull in between $10 million and $12 million in its first five days in theaters. Both movies were produced on modest budgets with Tag, based on the true story of a decades-long game of tag, was produced for $28 million while Superfly cost just $16 million to make.
Incredibles 2 hits theaters 14 years after its predecessor, Incredibles, and while some had wondered if the lengthy hiatus between films could soften interest in the sequel, that has been proven wrong with the Thursday grosses alone. Brad Bird returns to direct Incredibles 2 from his own script, with stars Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter returning to voice the patriarch and matriarch of this animated superhero family. Variety broke the news about Incredibles 2's Thursday tally, and be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates.