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Weekend Box Office: Secret Life of Pets Dominates, Mike and Dave Decent

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By Chris Kavan - 07/10/16 at 09:20 PM CT

It has become the summer of fantastic family films - going back to The Jungle Book, this season has seen a long line of (mostly) great performances from family films. This weekend was no exception as The Secret Life of Pets easily won the weekend and in record fashion to boot. While the animated film got most of the attention, there was still some love left over for the R-rated comedy as well. While that opening wasn't record-breaking, it was a good enough opening considering the subject matter. All told, is was another great weekend and continues the solid summer run.


There is no secret that family films tend to do well over the summer - and The Secret Life of Pets from Illumination (the studio behind Despicable Me and Minions) was just another huge confirmation. Opening to a eye-popping $103.1 million, Secret Life of Pets blew away the record for an original animated project (not a sequel or based on existing property), easily topping the $90.4 million Inside Out set last year. It also represents the fourth-best opening for Universal Pictures, the sixth-best animated opening of all time and the seventh-best PG opening of all time. The picture has been getting a lot of attention and, with an all-star cast to boot, it looks like the audience was raring to go as well. With an "A-" Cinemascore, The Secret Life of Pets should have an excellent future ahead of it and, budgeted at $75 million, it has already earned back its money and then some. The film also opened in the most theaters for an animated film (4,370) and scored a very good $23,609 per-theater average. The $100 million plus opening also ties 2016 with last year for the most films (the sixth thus far) to open at that mark - and there is a lot left to top that mark. Currently 2016 is running about 3% ahead of last year - we'll see if it can keep that pace as summer continues.


After a stronger-than-expected opening last weekend, The Legend of Tarzan also had a better-than-expected second-week hold as it held on to its second-place slot with a $20.6 million weekend. The dip of 46.5% was pretty good, as many pegged Tarzan to drop at least 50%, if not more. The film has earned $81.4 million thus far - still a long ways off from its $180 million budget, With foreign totals taken into account, it sits at $135.4 million as it still rolls out in several markets. It should be able to top $100 million in the U.S. with relative ease, though it remains to be seen just how close it can get to matching its somewhat bloated budget. This one may yet dig out of the hole, though it would be surprising if it resulted in a sequel (and, if it does, the budget won't be as impressive).


With The Secret Life of Pets having such an impressive opening, that meant that Finding Dory probably took a bit of a bigger tumble than would be usual. Still, the 51.3% gave the film a $20.35 million weekend, raising the film's total to $422.5 million and moving it up to third place on the all-time animated chart (and just $19.1 million away from Shrek 2) as well as making it the highest-grossing release of 2016 on the domestic front. It has earned $624 million worldwide thus far and is still looking at around $500 million in the U.S. though we'll see if it falls just short of that mark with Secret Life of Pets opening so strong.


The raunchy R-rated comedy had a decent opening in fourth-place with $16.6 million. That was also a better opening than expected as many had pegged this at around $12 million. Given its $33 million budget, it should at least be able to match that, if not hit about $40 million. It earned an okay "B" Cinemascore with the audience playing just a bit more female (52%) and split evenly between those over and under 25 years of age. Heck, even the much-maligned Dirty Granpa (also starring Zac Efron) made it to $94 million worldwide. I don't see why this crude comedy won't top it, given the more promising premise and stronger leads.


Good news for fans of The Purge franchise, Election Year took a 63% tumble - but that was good news as it was an even better hold than the 65% drop of Anarchy and much better than the 83% drop of the original Purge. With a $11.7 million weekend and a $58.1 million total, it's 10-day showing is also far ahead of the first two Purge films and could still be looking at an $80 million plus total - all on a mere $10 million budget. Say hello to the new Saw/Paranormal Activity horror franchise - one can only hope this will continue to show promise rather than squander it's popularity and get mediocre to terrible too quickly.

Outside the top five: Although it technically happened last weekend - the weekend update didn't come soon enough and thus this week I can report that the Kevin Hart/Dwayne Johnson comedy Central Intelligence reached the $100 million milestone. It earned $8.1 million (6th place for the second-straight weekend) for a new total of $108.3 million.

In limited release, Captain Fantastic earned the best per-theater crown. Opening in four theaters, the film brought in $98,451 for a weekend best $24,613 per-theater average.

Next week we'll finally see if the updated Ghostbusters will rise or fall and we also get the excellent-looking crime drama The Infiltrator.


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