Box Office Breakdown: ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ Barks Up $103.2 Million Opening

The Secret Life of Pets was destined to be massive. I knew it was going to do gangbusters, and I feel like you did too. Illumination Entertainment can market a movie better than anyone else out there today. Add some cute anamorphic animals, plushy designs and familiar voice actors, and you have one of the summer’s biggest hits. The dogs have come out to play, and they brought with them a $103.2 million opening. Woof!

secret life of pets chloe the catThe new animated movie was on track to do well, but it’s wasn’t clear just how well it was going to do. Now, estimates note that it has become the best opening for an original animated property ever, beating last year’s excellent Inside Out (which opened with $90.4 million). With a budget of $75 million, this one is already in the black, and it’s only going to make more cash in the weeks to come. Expect a sequel sooner than not; Illumination like to dry their successful properties dry to the bone — just look at how they handle their Minions. Nevertheless, The Secret Life of Pets is a cute, charming and completely slight piece of family entertainment, and its success certainly isn’t the worst thing to come about this past week. So, let’s chalk this one as a success all-around.

Speaking of family entertainment, Finding Dory continues to hold out strong in third place. Now in its fourth weekend, it may not be in the number one spot anymore, but the animated sequel certainly isn’t hurting. It has an additional $21 million in its aquatic pocket, making its current domestic total an astounding $421.6 million. With that, it officially bests Captain America: Civil War as the highest grossing movie of the summer — at least, here in the States. As expected, 2016 is another highly profitable year for Disney. They have the four highest-grossing films of the year under their name. How do you like them apples?

Well, I shouldn’t get ahead of myself just yet, because they still have the underperforming The BFG to their name, and it’s still not gaining a lot of traction in its second weekend. Steven Spielberg’s latest came in eighth place with $8 million during its second swing, making its domestic total a paltry $39 million thus far. With a budget of $140 million, not counting marketing costs, this one is really going to need an overseas boost to do well. And that’s a shame, because it’s a pretty darn good movie and it deserves some love. I’m just saying.

Mike & Dave Need Wedding DatesOutside the family fare, the raunchy comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates also did better than expected this weekend. The 20th Century Fox release, based loosely on the book of the same name by Dave and Mike Stangle, grossed $16.6 million to its name, likely thanks to a successful marketing campaign and its appealing young talented cast. With a $33 million budget, it still needs to pull some extra leg work, and the deservedly mixed reviews might hurt its further success, but it’s more than halfway there, and I have a feeling this one is going to make it out in the clear.

Rounding up the weekend, The Legend of Tarzan came in second place with $20.6 million, making its domestic total a respectable $81.4 million. I didn’t really expect this one to be doing kinda okay, but here we are. Meanwhile, The Purge: Election Year came in fifth place with $11.7 million, although it already earned back its $10 million budget and then some last week, and Central Intelligence crossed the $100 million mark in sixth place. Audiences love Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, it seems. Also, the international release Sultan earned $2.2 million in tenth place over the weekend, with a $7,832 per theater average. That’s not bad at all.

Check out the box office numbers, courtesy of THR and Box Office Mojo, below.

  1. The Secret Life of Pets Weekend: $103.2 million Domestic Total: $103.2 million
  2. The Legend of Tarzan Weekend: $20.6 million Domestic Total: $81.4 million
  3. Finding Dory Weekend: $20.3 million Domestic Total: $422.6 million
  4. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Weekend: $16.6 million Domestic Total: $16.6 million
  5. The Purge: Election Year Weekend: $11.7 million Domestic Total: $58.1 million
  6. Central Intelligence Weekend: $8.1 million Domestic Total: $108.3 million
  7. Independence Day: Resurgence Weekend: $7.7 million Domestic Total: $91.4 million
  8. The BFG Weekend: $7.6 million Domestic Total: $38.7 million
  9. The Shallows Weekend: $4.8 million Domestic Total: $45.8 million
  10. Sultan Weekend: $2.2 million Domestic Total: $3.2 million



Will Ashton
Will Ashton
Will Ashton bleeds his pen to CutPrintFilm, The Playlist, MovieBoozer, We Got This Covered and beyond. One day, he'll become Jack Burton. You wait and see, buddy boy.