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The Secret Life of Pets hits massive $103.2 million on US release

The Secret Life of Pets

Story by Jack Foley

ANIMATED family film The Secret Life of Pets has shot straight to the top of the US box office with a much better than expected $103.2 million opening.

The figure marks the best start ever for an original animated property, not accounting for inflation, eclipsing the $90.4 million taken by Pixar’s Inside Out.

It’s also the sixth best opening ever for any animated film, as well as Illumination’s second best debut after last summer’s Minions ($115.7 million). It could well have launched another animated franchise.

Its US success mirrors its overseas triumphs, where it has now taken $42.6 million for a global tally of $145.8 million. In the UK, it remained at the top for a third straight weekend with $4.8 million.

Back in the US, Pets super-powered performance spelled the end of Finding Dory‘s reign at the top. But Disney-Pixar’s follow-up to Finding Nemo was no slouch in its fourth weekend, taking an estimated $20.4 million and battling it out with The Legend of Tarzan for second spot.

On Friday, the Dory beat Captain America: Civil War ($406 million) to become the summer’s top-grossing film in the US to date this year, finishing Sunday with $422.6 million.

It remains to be seen whether Dory or Tarzan finish up in second spot. Legend of Tarzan could just win that battle, having taken an estimated $20.6 million for a US total of $81.4 million. But that number is considered low considering the film’s $180 million production budget.

Elsewhere, Fox’s R-rated comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, starring Zac Efron and Adam Devine, also beat expectations to hit $16.6 million thanks to a strong turnout from younger moviegoers.

Directed by Jake Szymanski, Mike and Dave follows two hedonistic brothers as they seek out respectable dates for their sister’s wedding. They put an ad on Craigslist and end up taking two best friends (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza) who are actually bigger troublemakers than they are.

Rounding out the US top five was The Purge: Election Year, which took $11.7 million for a US tally of $58.1 million and worldwide total of $60.3 million – a massive return for a film that cost just $10 million to make.

Also enjoying sustained success was Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart’s Central Intelligence, which jumped the $100 million mark, earning $8.1 million in its fourth weekend for a US total of $108.3 million.

However, there was more bad news for Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, which tumbled 57% in its second outing with $7.6 million for a disappointing US tally of $38.7 million and a global total of $50.6 million. The film now looks set to become one of the costliest flops of the summer and one of the worst performing blockbusters of Spielberg’s illustrious career.

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