After more than a decade, Pixar’s highly anticipated sequel Finding Dory has made history, smashing box office records by taking in $US136.2 million ($AU183 million) in its opening weekend.
The film, which blasted its predecessor, Finding Nemo, out of the water, hit cinemas 13 years after families fell in love with the uplifting animated tale.
Ellen DeGeneres, who is the voice of forgetful fish Dory, has been very vocal about her desire for a sequel, and has stressed to her audience on multiple occasions that Pixar should reprise the much loved story.
She recently told TIME that she couldn’t believe sequels were being made for animated movies but not Finding Nemo.
“It’s still one of the highest rentals. Rental? Do people rent movies anymore? No. But they’re still watching it over and over again, so, yeah, it was kind of amazing to me that it wasn’t being made. And it was kind of a joke," she said.
Ellen went on to explain that Finding Nemo was an extremely important film in her career.
“Andrew (one of the film’s directors) hired me when nobody else would hire me. I had gone back to standup because I needed money and I didn’t have any other option.”
In May, when the second trailer was released, the film gained extra attention for a supposed lesbian couple pushing a pram. Ellen told TIME she was surprised when she heard the rumour and confirmed that there are indeed lesbians in the film.
“If that’s what people want then, yes, there are lesbian fish in the movie. There are plenty of them," she said.
“Was it a negative thing or a positive thing? If people don’t want them in there, they’re not there.
"Whatever people want ‘cause you wouldn’t want to take your children to see a movie with lesbian fish themselves because then they’ll want to be lesbian fish themselves.
"But if you do want lesbian fish, you’ll probably have to see the movie four or five times to see them.”
The film, which focuses on Dory’s search for her parents (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy), swam to success over the weekend and fortunately did not join this year’s long list of floundering sequels including X-Men: Apocalypse, Teenage Mutant Nija Turtles: Out of the Shadows and The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
Finding Dory is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer below.