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Weekend Estimates: Pets Has Best Start for an Animated Franchise

July 10th, 2016

The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets is storming to a massive opening weekend at the box office, with Universal projecting a $103.2 million debut for the Illumination Entertainment animated film. That’s just shy of the $115.7 million made by Minions this weekend last year, and the best opening ever by a non-sequel or spin-off animated film. This performance is particularly significant for Illumination, because it’s their first blockbuster from outside the Despicable Me universe.

Pets should make it to $300 million domestically without any trouble, and will be chasing hard on the heels of Finding Dory, which passed $400 million on Thursday, and overtook Captain America: Civil War on Saturday to become the top-grossing film at the domestic box office this year. Disney also reported this morning that the studio has passed $5 billion at the global box office as of Sunday, the fastest to that mark by any studio in history.

Finding Dory was hit hard at the box office this weekend by the debut of The Secret Life of Pets, and Disney is projecting it will be down 51% from last weekend. $20.35 million is a great performance for a movie in its fourth weekend in release, and Dory is tracking in the top half of our model, but the film is coming down to earth a little faster than I would have expected, and won’t be putting pressure on any more box office records.

Finding Dory’s slight weakness opened the door for The Legend of Tarzan to sneak into second place this weekend, according to Warner Bros.’ estimate, with $20.61 million. That’s essentially tied with Finding Dory, and I think the places will actually be reversed when final numbers come in, but either way it’s a good second weekend for a film that looks set to perform more respectably than was expected in the days leading up to its release.

In fourth place, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates will earn $16.6 million, per Fox, which isn’t bad for a mid-Summer comedy. Its release is looking particularly well-timed, with animation and jungle adventure dominating the multiplexes right now, and not much edgier fare to be found.

The standout film in limited release this weekend is Captain Fantastic, which Bleecker Street is projecting will hit $98,451 from just four theaters, for an average close to $25,000. It’s an opening straight out of A24’s playbook, which hasn’t always translated into huge numbers when a film expands. This is one worth keeping an eye on, though. Also of note this weekend is the $2.2 million posted by Sultan for Yash Raj Films, giving the film a place in the top 10.

- Weekend estimates

- The Secret Life of Pets comparison chart
- Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates comparison chart
- Finding Dory comparison chart
- Highest-grossing animated movies
- Top 2016 movies at the global box office
- The Legend of Tarzan comparison chart

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, Captain America: Civil War, The Legend of Tarzan, Captain Fantastic, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Sultan, Despicable Me