Finding Dory has taken $136.2m (£93.3m) on its opening weekend – making it the most successful launch for an animated film in US box office history.
The sequel to Finding Nemo has unseated Shrek the Third – which took $121.6m (£83.1m) on its release in 2007.
It is also the second most successful opening weekend of 2016, behind Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.
Ellen DeGeneres voices the lead character in Finding Dory.She also voiced Dory in Finding Nemo, which came out in 2003.
Paul Dergarabedian, comScore’s senior media analyst, said: “The thought was ‘could this be the movie to eclipse Toy Story 3’s opening, not, ‘could it become the biggest animated opening of all time?’.
“That’s the power of the Pixar brand.”
Variety added it had succeeded where many sequels had failed, saying one of the reasons was its appeal to female cinema-goers:
It said: “Dory represent a wider range of female experiences and boast character traits beyond simply waiting around for their prince. They are archers, cops, teenage girls, even forgetful fish.”
Toy Story 3 was the biggest Pixar opening until now with $110.3m (£75.4m).