This year, box office experts have consistently underestimated how animation would perform at the box office, and Dreamworks’ Trolls proved no exception. The Mike Mitchell-directed film enjoyed a powerful $45.6 million (estimated) launch in the United States, at least $5-15 million higher than what industry observers had predicted.

Trolls opened in second place, behind the $85 million debut of Doctor Strange. Compared to the last couple Dreamworks entries, Trolls fell in between the $41.3m launch of this year’s Kung Fu Panda 3 and the $52.1m bow of 2015’s home.

The opening weekend Trolls audience skewed heavily toward females (over 60%) and families (over 70%), which gives Trolls two more weekends of clear sailing before the arrival of the next PG film targeting a similar audience: Disney’s Moana.

Trolls added an extra $30.3m from international territories, including a No. 1 launch in Mexico, lifting its foreign total to $104m. In Spain, where Trolls had debuted in third place, the film had an 18% increase and jumped into the No. 1 spot.

One other significant bit of box office news: Pixar’s Finding Dory overtook Zootopia at the global box office this weekend to become the highest-grossing animated feature of the year ($1,024.0 billion to $1,023.6 billion). It marks the first time in film history that two animated films have achieved a billion-dollar gross in the same calendar year. The Walt Disney Company, of course, produced both films.

Latest News from Cartoon Brew