The Secret Life of Pets ruffs up box office with $103.2M debut

Secret Life of Pets has strong opening weekend

The box office went to the birds, cats and dogs instead of the fish this weekend. The Secret Life of Pets beat out other new releases to stand atop the box office and finally dethrone three-time champ Finding Dory.

Sequels dominate animation records. Of the Top 10 all-time opening weekends, seven are sequels. Inside Out previously held the record for best original debut with $90 million.

This is welcome news for distributor Illumination, which was looking for a new franchise to pair with Despicable Me/Minions. Pets was made for $75 million so it’s already made a solid profit.

Meanwhile The Legend of Tarzan remained strong on the box office vine to retain second place with $20.6 million. That brings its total to $81 million.

Finding Dory was third place with $20 million. With $422 million, Dory is now the year’s highest grossing film.

Dory is now No. 2 on the all-time animation lists. The Nemo sequel swam past Toy Story 3 ($415 million), The Lion King ($422 million) and Shrek 2 ($441 million). Knocking off the first two definitely seems feasible, but catching up to Shrek 2 at this stage might be difficult especially with Pets now in play for families.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates - Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza and Adam Devine
Photo Credit: Gemma LaMana/20th Century Fox

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates tapped into the under-served buddy comedy market. It also had a decent debut with $16.6 million for fourth place.

With a minor $33 million budget, the film should start making a profit for distributor 20th Century Fox as soon as next weekend.

The Purge: Election Year wrapped up the Top 5 with $11.7 million to take its total to $58.1 million.

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