Illumination’s ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ Makes Animated History
The 2016 box office continues to make history as Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets became the sixth film this year to open above $100 million. With an estimate debut of $103.2 million, Pets was more than able this weekend to dethrone three-week champ, Finding Dory.
The Secret Life of Pets is Illumination’s second animated film to crack the century mark. Last year’s Minions was the studio’s first, grossing $115.7 million. In fact, The Secret Life of Pets is the first animated non-sequel to open above the lucrative milestone. Finding Dory, Shrek the Third, Minions, Toy Story 3 and Shrek 2 all passed $100 milion opening weekend, but were either sequels or spinoffs. The fact that a brand new property managed to open that high on its first attempt is impressive, regardless of being animated or live-action. With no competition left except for Ice Age: Collision Course in two weeks, The Secret Life of Pets is easily on target for a $300 million run throughout the remainder of summer. And there’s no doubt that Illumination will be greenlighting a sequel in the near future.
Remaining in the same spot as last weekend, David Yates’ The Legend of Tarzan held strong in second place with $20.6 million. Out of the three holiday holdovers, Tarzan held the strongest, only down 46.5% last weekend. In comparison, The Purge: Election Year dropped 62.9%, while Steven Spielberg’s The BFG tumbled 59.5%. Within the next week or so, Tarzan will pass the century mark, perhaps even faster than summer tentpoles such as Independence Day: Resurgence. $125-130 million is still a possibility for the adaptation.
After three weeks on top, Pixar’s Finding Dory suffered its biggest decline to date, down 51.3% from last weekend. With The Secret Life of Pets clawing up the competition, a hefty drop down to $20.4 million was to be expected. On the plus side, Finding Dory is now Pixar’s highest-grossing film ever, currently standing at $422.6 million. By tomorrow, it will also dethrone The Lion King to become Disney’s highest-grossing animated film on record. The next major milestone will be claiming the highest-grossing animated film record by topping Shrek 2’s $441.2 million run. Give it about a week or two for that record to be broken. Once that’s in the rear-view mirror, Dory will begin targeting the $450 and $500 million milestones before the end of summer.
Zac Efron’s romantic comedy, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, debuted in the fourth place this weekend with $16.6 million. It’s a mediocre start for Efron, who’s scored debuts all over the map. His recent comedy, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising opened to $21.8 million this past May, while Dirty Grandpa only scored $11.1 million on opening weekend. If Mike and Dave continues to perform somewhere in between those two comedies, we could be looking at a finish around $40-45 million.
Despite taking the steepest drop among holiday holdovers, The Purge: Election Year remained in the Top 5 with an estimated $11.7 million. Its 62.9% drop is actually the best sophomore drop for the franchise. 2013’s The Purge collapsed in its second weekend, down 75.6%, while The Purge: Anarchy improved, dropping 64.8%. It’s not typical for horror films to improve upon previous installments, yet Election Year could be the most successful film in the franchise. If Election Year continues to hold slightly stronger than the last two films, it could finish with about $75 million.
The Secret Life of Pets blew past my $73 million prediction on Thursday. However, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates debuted a notch or so below my $18 million estimate.
Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.
#1 – The Secret Life of Pets (NR)
$103.2 million / $103.2 million total
#2 – The Legend of Tarzan (2)
$20.6 million / $81.4 million total
#3 – Finding Dory (1)
$20.4 million / $422.6 million total
#4 – Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (NR)
$16.6 million / $16.6 million total
#5 – The Purge: Election Year (3)
$11.7 million / $58.1 million total
Opening Next Week: Ghostbusters
Source: Box Office Mojo