'Finding Dory' sets animation film record with $9.2 million Thursday preview

A still image from "Finding Dory."
Source: Disney

"Finding Dory" swims into theaters on Friday and it's already breaking records.

The highly anticipated sequel to Disney's "Finding Nemo" garnered $9.2 million during Thursday night previews, the highest of any animated film in history, according to Disney's box office numbers.

"'Finding Dory' has a very realistic chance of being the No. 1 movie of the summer," Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst at Exhibitor Relations said back in November. "You have to assume that everybody is going to see that film."

The animated feature has some stiff competition for that top spot this year. Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War" grossed $1.14 billion globally after opening to a tune of $179 million domestically in May.

Earlier this year, Disney's "Zootopia," produced through Disney's animation studio, dethroned "Frozen" for the highest opening weekend earner for the company's animation unit. It grossed more than $75 million during its domestic opening weekend and garnered $1.01 billion globally.

"Finding Dory," however, was produced through Disney's other animation arm, Pixar. Last summer, the company garnered a whopping $90.4 million during the weekend opening of "Inside Out," which currently holds the record for the highest opening weekend for an animated film. It went on to gross $869 million globally.

The release of "Finding Dory" comes just weeks after Disney's "Alice Through the Looking Glass" disappointed at domestic box offices, garnering only $65 million, according to Box Office Mojo. However, the film was able to recoup its $170 million production budget with the help of international ticket sales, which boosted its worldwide gross to $217 million.