7TH UPDATE, Monday 5:20 PM: This weekend, Illumination Entertainment further proved it’s not just an animation label relegated to a Russian-speaking villain and yellow Tic-Tac guys as The Secret Life Of Pets came in well above its weekend estimates with $104.35 million gross, the sixth-best opening in July and second best for an animated film during the month after last year’s Illumination title Minions ($115.7M).
In what appeared to be a two-note summer between Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory ($423M) and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War ($406.2M), Pets widened the landscape with the third-best debut of the season, giving way to what many believe will be a more successful second half of the summer than the first (at least in regard to spreading the wealth). With an A- CinemaScore, Pets is certain to do a 3x multiple, getting it to $313M stateside. Minions finaled with a 2.9 multiple at $336M and made $1.16 billion globally.
You can’t deny the post-July 4th date worked in Pets’ behalf. In the wake of Despicable Me 1 & 2 and Minions, audiences have come to expect a hysterical, satirical toon at this time of year. The fact that Illumination uses the Minions as part of their brand further sends the message that moviegoers can expect a feature toon that’s a bit more off-kilter than Disney/Pixar, and this case it was the high concept What do pets do when their owners are away that stoked audiences. Forty percent of those attending cited themselves as pet owners according to ComScore’s PostTrak. Uni reached this crowd via customized promo materials at Petsmart and during National Pet Day and on Facebook.
Couple all of the above with long-lead marketing — generally a year out or more — which is standard for an Illumination release. Universal launched the Pets trailer ahead of Minions last year and this film received more trailer targets than any film in the studio’s history. Uni reached a good portion of the masses via Xfinitiy, Comcast’s major broadband provider. There were also spots during the Super Bowl and the NBA playoffs with a special short starring hoops stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant airing during 18 games of the postseason in early April. Chrysler was a big promoter as well. At CinemaCon, Uni devoted half its CinemaCon presentation to exhibitors to Illumination product, showing off long opening portions of Pets and their December 21 title Sing.
As is typical for Illumination fare during recent summers, it shared marquee space with a Pixar title. Some tracking folks thought Dory would slow Pets down, but both lived together in harmony in the same multiplexes. With $423M through yesterday, Dory becomes the highest-grossing Disney animated film of all time at the domestic box office, beating The Lion King ($422.8M), and the highest-grossing film of the year to date.
20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s R-rated raunchy comedy Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates came in at $16.6M, ahead of its $15M projection. Even though that’s not a blow-your-socks-off opening, the film’s three-day is healthy enough for its $33M production cost before P&A. In regards to where it lands in the Efron B.O. canon, Mike And Dave is higher than Dirty Grandpa ($11.1M, final domestic $35.6M) but below Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising ($21.8M, $55.3M). Mike And Dave, like those two movies, received a B CinemaScore. But given the lack of comedies this summer, plus Fox’s history with legging out these R-rated laughs (Let’s Be Cops had a 4.6 multiple, going from $17.8M to $82.4M), the hope is that Mike And Dave can stick around for a while. Granted, it has a 52% female audience, split 50-50 under-over 25, however, as the Efron fans slip away, there just might be enough men here to keep Mike And Dave dancing.
For those in need of hard laughs this weekend, Ghostbusters won’t be a threat at all as it’s set to make $38M-$48M in second place to alpha Pets’ $50M-$55M.
Here are the weekend’s final actuals:
1). The Secret Life Of Pets (ILL/UNI), 4,370 theaters /3-day cume: $104.35M/ Per screen avg.: $23,879 /Wk 1
2). The Legend Of Tarzan (WB), 3,591 theaters (+30) / 3-day cume: $21M (-45%)/ Per screen: $5,850 / Total cume: $81.8M/Wk 2
3). Finding Dory (DIS), 3,871 theaters (-434) /3-day cume: $20.8M (-50%)/ Per screen: $5,378 / Total cume: $423M/Wk 4
4). Mike And David Need Wedding Dates (FOX), 2,982 theaters /3-day cume: $16.6M/ Per screen: $5,576 / Wk 1
5). The Purge: Election Day (UNI), 2,821 theaters (+25) /3-day cume: $12.4M (-61%)/ Per screen: $4,392 / Total cume: $58.8M/Wk 2
6). Central Intelligence (WB/NL/UNI), 2,841 theaters (-325) /3-day cume: $8M (-36%)/ Per screen: $2,827 / Total: $108.2M/ Wk 4
7). The BFG (DIS), 3,392 theaters (+35) /3-day cume: $7.8M (-58%)/ Per screen: $2,302 / Total cume: $38.9M/Wk 2
8). Independence Day: Resurgence (FOX), 3,061 theaters (-1,030) / /3-day cume: $7.78M (-53%)/ Per screen: $2,541 / Total: $91.6M/ Wk 3
9). The Shallows (SONY), 2,406 theaters (-556) / 3-day: $4.8M (-45%)/ Per screen: $1,997 / Total: $45.8M/Wk 3
10.) Sultan (YASH), 287 theaters /3-day cume: $2.4M/ Per screen: $8,375 / Total cume: $3.4M/Wk 1 Wed. opening
11). Conjuring 2 (WB/NL), 1,052 theaters (-956) / 3-day cume: $1.7M (-55%)/ Per screen: $1,627 /Total cume: $99.3M/Wk 5
12). Free State Of Jones (STX), 1,264 theaters (-1,517) / 3-day cume: $1.35M (-67%)/ Per screen: $1,068 / Total cume: $19.3M /Wk 3
13). Now You See Me 2 (LG), 864 theaters (-924)/ 3-day cume: $1.32M (-55%)/ Per screen: $1,528 /Total cume: $62.1M/Wk 5
14). Our Kind Of Traitor (RSA), 399 theaters (+26) / 3-day cume: $711K (-28%)/ Per screen: $1,783 /Total cume: $2.2M/Wk 2
15). Swiss Army Man (A24), 600 theaters (-36) /3-day cume: $675K (-52%)/ Per screen: $1,125 /Total: $3.1M/Wk 3
16). Warcraft (UNI/LEG), 228 theaters (-183) / 3-day cume: $443K (-13%)/ Per screen: $1,944 /Total cume: $46.6M/Wk 5
17). Me Before You (MGM/New Line/WB), 318 theaters (-205) /3-day cume: $416K (-49%)/ Per screen: $1,309 / Total cume: $54.8M/Wk 6
18). X-Men: Apocalypse (FOX), 288 theaters (-342) /3-day cume: $410K (-55%) / Per screen: $1,425 /Total cume: $154.5M/Wk 7
19). Hunt For The Wilderpeople (ORCH), 72 theaters (+49) / 3-day cume: $387K (+171%)/ Per screen: $5,377 /Total cume: $729K /Wk 3
20). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (PAR), 293 theaters (-426)/ 3-day cume: $321K (-58%)/ Per screen: $1,095 /Total Cume: $80.4M/Wk 6
6TH WRITETHRU, SUNDAY 8:30 AM after 12:21 AM post: Going into the weekend, there was a notion among some tracking experts that Finding Dory could impede The Secret Life Of Pets‘ opening. Well, that’s not happening.
The Illumination Entertainment/Universal feature is on its way to a three-day cume of $103.1 million, the second-best debut for Chris Meledandri’s label after Minions’ $115.7M high last July. Some projected that Dory would push Pets’ three-day down into the mid-$80M range. There’s even some non-Universal estimates this morning that have Pets higher at $106M.
Overall, after a summer that has yielded a string of big-budget disasters, Pets has revived the season, giving entree to what many are seeing as a backloaded summer. ComScore reports that weekend ticket sales are at $216M, +13.5% over the July 4th three-day weekend and nearly 1% higher from a year ago. Even rivals are impressed with Pets. “What a brilliant concept. We all have pets. And this is what they do when we’re away,” said one non-Universal executive this morning about the Illumination pic’s mass appeal.
Beamed Universal domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou this morning, “The secret to The Secret Life Of Pets is that it’s not just for family or kids, but that it appeals to all ages. That fact that it works, not just here, but overseas; it’s a film that resonates across the world, in all age groups. That’s the secret to doing this level of business, that it resonates with the widest audience.” Pets played strong into the evening hours, and drew more adults than anticipated. CinemaScore showed 59% female, with 57% over 25. Compare this to Dory, which drew 65% females and 56% under 25.
Nonetheless, the market is big enough to sustain two toon titans. Similar to last year when Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out minted $17.7M during its fourth weekend in the face of Minions, Finding Dory is looking to make $20.4M at the same point in its run. However, Disney is relegating itself to third place this morning. Many rivals see Dory in second with a domestic total of $423M, which means it’s the highest-grossing Disney animated film of all-time at the domestic B.O., beating The Lion King‘s original and rerelease gross of $422.78M, and Pixar’s Toy Story 3 which finaled at $415M. However, Disney is careful with their Sunday estimates (and that’s not a bad thing). In addition, Dory is the highest-grossing film of the year (and summer), beating Disney’s own Marvel Captain America: Civil War ($406.2M).
Pets’ Saturday turned in $36M, a 7% dip from Friday. Social media monitor RelishMix reports that #SecretLifeOfPets hashtags popped over the last 48 hours, but the unofficial hashtag #Pets has also exploded with the movie, up from a combined 2.5K to 11.8K on Twitter and Instagram combined. YouTube video views too have spiked by 9.4M views in the last two days while Pet’s Facebook page is adding more than 41.4K new fans per day, up from 9.8K a day as it just hits 2M total fans.
In second place, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s $180M epic The Legend Of Tarzan is vying to stay alive, on course for a $20.6M weekend, a 46% drop from its opening, after posting a $8.3M Saturday that was up 36% from Friday. By end of day tomorrow, Tarzan will count a 10-day take of $81.4M. Those in distribution are on the fence with this film. On one hand, it is sustaining itself here in the U.S., while on the other at $135.4M worldwide it’s far from recouping its $180M production cost + P.A.
20th Century Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s R-rated comedy Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates is remaining on target with an opening of $16.6M, which is slightly ahead of its $15M forecast. Pic earned $5.7M on Saturday to Friday’s $6.6M (which was further propped by a $1.6M Thursday preview, so technically Saturday was slightly up over Friday). The studio is happy with the results particularly in regards to the film’s budget, and as we mentioned repeatedly will leg this out to big multiples, just like they did with Let’s Be Cops ($17.8M opening, $82.4M domestic). Fox reports this morning that Mike And Dave overperformed in the midwest, south central and western U.S. while slightly under-indexing in the southeast and northeast. Over-performing top 20 markets included Phoenix, Boston, and San Diego while under-performing ones include Washington DC, Atlanta, and Miami. Canada came in with an excellent 8.16% of the domestic cume. Top theaters came from Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York, Honolulu, Oklahoma City and Phoenix.
Fifth place belongs to Uni/Blumhouse/Platinum Dunes’ The Purge: Election Year which is looking at a $11.7M second weekend, down 63%, for a 10-day take of $58.1M. If it keeps up its B.O. momentum, it will easily be the highest-grossing installment in The Purge series.
The top 10 films according to studio reports as compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka:
1). The Secret Life Of Pets (ILL/UNI), 4,370 theaters / $38.5M Fri. (includes $5.3M previews) / $36.8M Sat. (-4%) / $27.8M Sun. (-24%) /3-day cume: $103.2M/Wk 1
2). The Legend Of Tarzan (WB), 3,591 theaters (+30) / $6.15M Fri. /$8.4M Sat. (+37%) / $6.1M Sun. (-28%) / 3-day cume: $20.6M (-46%)/Total cume: $81.4M/Wk 2
3). Finding Dory (DIS), 3,871 theaters (-434) / $6.3M Fri./ $8.3M Sat. (+32%) / $5.8M Sun. (-30%) /3-day cume: $20.4M (-51%)/Total cume: $422.6M/Wk 4
4). Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates (FOX), 2,982 theaters / $6.7M Fri. (includes $1.6M previews) / $5.7M Sat. (-15%) / $4.3M Sun. (-25%) /3-day cume: $16.6M/Wk 1
5). The Purge: Election Day (UNI), 2,821 theaters (+25) / $4M Fri. / $4.6M Sat. (+15%) / $3M Sun. (-35%) /3-day cume: $11.7M (-63%)/Total cume: $58.1M/Wk 2
6). Central Intelligence (WB/NL/UNI), 2,841 theaters (-325) / $2.4M Fri. / $3.3M Sat. (+37%) / $2.3M Sun. (-30%) /3-day cume: $8.1M (-35%)/Total: $108.3M/ Wk 4
7). Independence Day: Resurgence (FOX), 3,061 theaters (-1,030) / $2.2M Fri. /$3.3M Sat. (+48%) / $2.2M Sun. (-31%) /3-day cume: $7.7M (-54%)/Total: $91.5M/ Wk 3
8). The BFG (DIS), 3,392 theaters (+35) / $2.4M Fri. / $3M Sat. (+27%) / $2.2M Sun. (-29%) /3-day cume: $7.6M(-60%)/Total cume: $39M/Wk 2
9). The Shallows (SONY), 2,406 theaters (-556) / $1.5M Fri. /$1.9M Sat. (+22%) / $1.4M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day: $4.8M(-45%)/Total: $45.8M/Wk 3
10.) Sultan (YASH), 287 theaters / $662K Fri./ $954K Sat. (+44%) / $600K Sun. (-37%) /3-day cume: $2.2M/Total cume: $3.2M/Wk 1 Wed. opening
Swiss Army Man (A24), 600 theaters (-36) / $205K Fri. /$270K Sat. (+32%) / $216K Sun. (-20%) /3-day cume: $691K(-51%)/Total: $3.1M/Wk 3
Captain Fantastic (BST), 4 theaters / $30K Fri. /$40K Sat. (+35%) / $28K Sun. (-30%) /3-day cume: $98K /PTA: $25K/Wk 1
4TH WRITETHRU: ‘Secret Life of Pets’ $97M+ Opening Brings Hope to a Summer Laden With Bombs (Sat. 7:56 AM after 12:33 AM post): The $97M+ estimated opening for Illumination Entertainment/Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets this weekend is being seen by the industry as a bright turning point in what has been a truly lackluster summer. Summer through 63 days currently totals $2.27B according to ComScore, -5% from last summer and -12% from 2013 when summer churned out a record $4.7B.
Pets will chart as the third best opening to date this summer following Captain America: Civil War ($179.1M) and Finding Dory ($135M), and further underscores the power of high concept family animated films this year. It’s one of three genres, including Marvel and horror titles, that has been working in a summer burdened with franchise disasters.
On Friday, Pets earned $38.7M, second to what Minions earned last July on its opening day with $46M, in addition to an A- CinemaScore; A+ among those under 18. On PostTrak, Pets landed an 85% positive score, a 93% recommend, and an audience comprised of 59% female and 56% under 25. CinemaScore also shows 59% female, but 57% over 25 (some tracking firms weren’t expecting Pets to skew adult like Dory). Close to 40% of those watching Pets identified themselves as pet owners to PostTrak. Rotten Tomatoes score is 76% certified fresh.
Some distribution execs like to point to the fact that the Independence Day stretch wasn’t so bad despite the lack of dazzling debuts, ranking as the fourth best overall with $190.1M and a week that totaled $310m. With a sum like that, there’s breadth on marquees, and thus a healthy marketplace.
But seriously, let’s not ignore some serious, ugly facts about this summer.
The average wide opening this season is currently down 27% to $36.2M from the same point in time a year ago. Through July 9th last year, summer counted seven titles north of $100M at the domestic B.O., this season there’s only five (Civil War, Dory, X-Men: Apocalypse, Angry Birds and Central Intelligence).
But, of course, the biggest eye sore is the slew of failed tentpoles that have each carried a pricetag of $100M-$200M before P&A; cinematic pariahs that we didn’t even have in great numbers last summer. The difference between summers 2016 and 2015 is more than just the mere fact that we’re missing a Jurassic World ($652.3M). By the end of the July 4th weekend a year ago, two highly anticipated tentpoles didn’t click: Disney’s Tomorrowland ($190M cost, $93.4M domestic) and Paramount/Skydance’s Terminator: Genisys ($155M cost, $89.8M domestic).
This summer, we have seven branded stateside bombs (eight if you count the low-budget disaster Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising at $55.2M, a final cume that’s not far from the first film’s $49M opening weekend): Alice Through the Looking Glass ($170M cost, $75.9M domestic), Warcraft ($160M cost, $46.1M), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 ($135M cost, $80M), Independence Day: Resurgence ($165M, $91M), Now You See Me 2 ($120M cost, $62.1M), The BFG ($140M cost, $39M) and The Legend of Tarzan ($180M cost, $80.9M).
Granted, some of these titles could break even after tabulating their overseas ticket sales, but it speaks volumes about big bets that didn’t work. Is the tentpole system broken? Does Hollywood enjoy shoveling substandard product in the pipeline, only to appease the moviegoing tastes of those in burgeoning overseas markets? Have they come to grips with the fact that American moviegoers have become far too sophisticated for certain types of middle-of-the-road blase brands and formulas, and that they can kill a film’s prospects on social following a Thursday night preview?
Distribution executives seem to wave off any kind of philosophical fears. They swear the swamp that we’re in is cyclical. That we’ve weathered lousy summers before; that superhero movies are the only ones immune to sequelitis. In short, the best days lie ahead.
“This summer is back-loaded, there’s some strong firepower ahead” declared one distribution executive today in regards to how Pets will give way to potential latter summer successes as Star Trek Beyond, Jason Bourne, Suicide Squad, Pete’s Dragon, War Dogs and Ben-Hur.
And even with the black eyes that this summer has endured, film finance insiders aren’t so jaded either as they expect most of the majors to profit. Overall, per one packager, the aggregate spend on budgets in 2016 will be down about 9.8% from 2015. Despite Tarzan losing his pants, Warner Bros. could conceivably see a profitable summer, especially if Suicide Squad fares well. Disney will be fine thanks to Civil War and Dory overpowering Alice and BFG (which was co-financed by Walden Media) in the ledgers. Universal, even without a $150M-plus budgeted movie will still profit this year, though less than last. Pets is certain to be in the black given its $75M production cost before P&A. Minions last year cleared $502M in profit after counting global TV and home entertainment revenues.
Also in the mix this weekend is 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s R-Rated Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, a definite piece of counterprogramming to Pets in an effort to meet adults’ needs. Yes, the $33M comedy earned $6.66M yesterday and will slightly beat its early week projections with a $17.1M opening. However, the fact that it isn’t doing more has perplexed some box office analysts and illustrates how difficult it is to launch a comedy in the current marketplace. Fox turned around some hysterical clips at CinemaCon for this film which earned great laughs, as well as TV spots. Are audiences simply hungover on Bridesmaids and Hangover copycats? One rival distribution suit snarked about the one-sheets, “It’s Efron, bare-chested, all over again like in Neighbors.” Indeed, the actor may have maxed out in the raunch genre following Neighbors 2 and Dirty Grandpa, the latter which left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth with a final B.O. of $35.1M. Mike and Dave earned a B CinemaScore similar to 2014’s Let’s Be Cops, a comedy that Fox milked a 4.6 multiple out of sending its $17.8M opening to a final domestic take of $82.4M. And if Fox legs Mike and Dave out at that level (and thus beats Neighbors 2 at the B.O.), then they’ll be the ones laughing all the way to the bank.
Older females turned out for Mike and Dave at 55% women, 58% over 25. Sixty-six percent attended because it was a bawdy comedy according to CinemaScore, with 37% coming out for Efron (who was given a B+).
Yash Raj’s Bollywood hit Sultan cracked the top 10 as expected and will count close to $3M by Sunday after a Wednesday launch. Following its Sundance and Cannes premieres earlier this year, Bleecker Street’s Captain Fantastic arrives with arguably the weekend’s top theater average of $24K, ahead of Pets’ $22K. MusicBox’s doc Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is also putting up strong figures on the specialty scene with $11K per house. In regards to bizarre cult titles, A24’s Swiss Army Men keeps chugging along and will see $3M-plus by Sunday, however, Amazon/Broad Green’s Neon Demon from director Nicolas Winding Refn is largely gone, having dwindled to 16 venues in its third week.
The top 10 films per industry estimates for July 8-10 as of Saturday AM, compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka:
1). The Secret Life of Pets (ILL/UNI), 4,370 theaters / $38.7M Fri. (includes $5.3M previews) / 3-day cume: $97.2M/Wk 1
2). The Legend of Tarzan (WB), 3,591 theaters (+30) / $6.1M Fri. (-57%) / 3-day cume: $20.1M (-48%)/Total cume: $80.9M/Wk 2
3). Finding Dory (DIS), 3,871 theaters (-434) / $6.3M Fri. (-54%)/ 3-day cume: $20M (-52%)/Total cume: $422.3M/Wk 4
4). Mike and David Need Wedding Dates (FOX), 2,982 theaters / $6.66M Fri. (includes $1.6M previews) / 3-day cume: $17.1M/Wk 1
5). The Purge: Election Day (UNI), 2,821 theaters (+25) / $4M Fri. (-73%) / 3-day cume: $11.6M (-63%)/Total cume: $58M/Wk 2
6). Central Intelligence (WB/NL/UNI), 2,841 theaters (-325) / $2.4M Fri. (-36%) / 3-day cume: $7.9M (-37%)/Total: $108.1M/ Wk 4
7). The BFG (DIS), 3,392 theaters (+35) / $2.4M Fri. (-67%) / 3-day cume: $7.85M (-58%)/Total cume: $39M/Wk 2
8). Independence Day: Resurgence (FOX), 3,061 theaters (-1,030) / $2.2M Fri. (-54%) /3-day cume: $7.2M(-57%)/Total: $91M/ Wk 3
9). The Shallows (SONY), 2,406 theaters (-556) / $1.5M Fri. (-49%)/ 3-day: $4.55M (-48%)/Total: $45.6M/Wk 3
10.) Sultan (YASH), 287 theaters / $671K Fri./ 3-day cume: $2.2M/Total cume: $2.8M/Wk 1 Wed. opening
Swiss Army Men (A24), 600 theaters (-36) / $204K Fri. (-61%) /3-day cume: $662K (-53%)/Total: $3.1M/Wk 3
Achy Breaky Hearts (ABS), 50 theaters / $76K Fri. /3-day cume: $223K/Wk 1
Cold War 2 (WLGO), 30 theaters / $50K Fri. /3-day cume: $155K/Wk 1
Captain Fantastic (BST), 4 theaters / $30K Fri. /3-day cume: $98K /PTA: $24K/Wk 1
Zero Days (MAG), 12 theaters / $14K Fri. /3-day cume: $45K /Wk 1
Neon Demon, The (BGREEN/AMZN), 16 theaters (-169) / $8K Fri. (-80%) / 3-day cume: $24K (-82%)/Total: $1.2M/Wk 3
Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You (MUSIC), 2 theaters / $8K Fri. /3-day cume: $21K /PTA:$11K/Wk 1
Our Little Sister (SPC), 3 theaters / $6K Fri. /3-day cume: $19K /PTA:$6/Wk 1
2ND UPDATE Friday, 12:30 PM: Illumination and Universal’s The Secret Life Of Pets is raising the summer box office out of its doldrums this weekend with a three-day estimate of between $90 million-$100 million, which would make it the second-best opening for an animated film in July after last year’s Minions, which debuted to $115M. That’s the current industry estimate off of Friday matinees.
Today alone, the original animated pic by directors Yarrow Cheney and Chris Renaud is looking at $35M-$36M, which is about what Despicable Me 2 made on its first day ($35M) which was a Wednesday. Whenever animated features put up these types of figures, it also means that they’re playing strongly into the evening. With Pets starting out this high at the box office, it is quite conceivable it will beat Sony’s Ghostbusters for the No. 1 spot next weekend, as that pic is currently projected between $35M-$41M.
Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory is looking at $21M-$22M in its fourth weekend, which would bring its running domestic cume on Sunday to $437M, making it the highest-grossing Disney animated or Pixar film ever at the domestic B.O., clicking past Toy Story 3 ($415M) and The Lion King ($422.7M). Next record for Dory to topple: Shrek 2, which is the highest-grossing animated pic stateside of all time at $441.2M.
Now the big difference between Pets and Dory is that the latter skews more adult. With Pets being more kid-heavy, this could push its projections down toward the mid $80Ms to low $90Ms. We’ll have a better idea tonight.
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s The Legend Of Tarzan is poised to take in a second weekend in the vicinity of $15M, raising its 10-day cume to $75.8M.
20th Century Fox’s R-rated Zac Efron-Adam Devine-Anna Kendrick-Aubrey Plaza comedy Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates is looking to file a $5M-$6M Friday and $13M-$14M opening weekend. Before ruling judgment on this film, it’s important to note that the targeted crowd for these films don’t show up until late night. In addition, Fox can work wonders when it comes to legging out an R-rated comedy at the B.O., i.e. 2014’s Let’s Be Cops which opened to $17.8M and turned in a 4.6 multiple in the end with $82.4M stateside.
Universal/Blumhouse/Platinum Dunes’ The Purge: Election Year is on course for a second weekend of $11M, down 65%, for a 10-day take of $57.4M. That figure by Sunday will be running 10% ahead of the original Purge and 11% ahead of Purge: Anarchy.
Say goodbye to Disney’s The BFG, which is looking at a second Friday-Sunday span drop of 57%-60% for $7.5M-$8M and a running 10-day take of $39M.
Also look for Yash Raj’s wrestling drama Sultan from Bollywood icon Salman Kahn to break into the top 10. The film through its first two days stateside has racked up $1M at 276 sites. Over in India, Sultan has already set opening day highs for 2016.
PREVIOUS, 6:47 AM In a summer where a number of franchise tentpoles have just curled up and died, along comes another major family animated title underscoring again what moviegoers really want to see. Illumination/Universal’s The Secret Life Of Pets barked up $5.3 million last night in 3,009 theaters –the second-best preview night ever for the toon label– on the same night that Disney’s Finding Dory eclipsed the $400M mark, becoming the second Pixar title to do so after 2010’s Toy Story 3 ($415M).
Dory set the preview record for an animated feature last month with $9.2M. Pets’ Thursday night ranks just under Minions ($6.24M), but above Despicable Me 2 ($4.7M), Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 ($4M), Inside Out ($3.7M) and Illumination/Uni’s Despicable Me ($590K). Keep in mind showtimes for Pets started at 6 PM (vs. Toy Story 3 which started at midnight).
Tracking shows Pets opening in the $80M-$90M range, though many feel a three-day debut of $70M-$80M for this original feature toon is more realistic since Finding Dory remains so strong. She’s expected to make anywhere between $25M-$30M in her fourth weekend, easily putting her past Toy Story 3, and becoming the highest-grossing Disney animated film ever at the domestic box office. Last night, Dory with an estimated domestic running cume of $402.3M, also beat Disney Animation’s Frozen ($400.7M).
B.O. analysts are comping Pets to Disney’s Zootopia given that they’re both high-concept titles involving animals. Zootopia made $1.7M in its Thursday night previews (granted, less schools were out then) and a $75.1M opening weekend.
20th Century Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s R-rated comedy Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates posted $1.6M last night from 2,560 locations with showtimes that started at 7 PM. That number is comparable to Efron’s latest Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, which made $1.67M on its preview night. Mike and Dave are eyeing $15M, which is less than the $21.8M made by Neighbors 2 in its first three days. Efron’s average weekend gross is $25.3M (helped by bigger opening such as the original Neighbors). Mike And Dave is directed by Jake Szymanski and stars Efron and Adam Devine as two rich, partying bachelor brothers who, after putting the word out they need dates to their sister’s wedding, meet their matches in Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza. The film is based on real-life brothers Mike and Dave Stangle who became a viral sensation after posting a hilarious Craigslist ad. Mike And Dave arrives with an estimated price tag of $33M before P&A. Current Rotten Tomatoes score is 44% from 66 reviews.
Dory made an estimated $5.9M on Thursday at 4,305 locations. Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s The Legend Of Tarzan ranked second with $3.9M at 3,561 theaters putting its first-week cume at $60.8M. Uni/Blumhouse’s The Purge: Election Year charted third with an estimated $2.8M at 2,796 for a week’s cume of $46.4M. That opening week easily bests The Purge ($43.6M) and The Purge: Anarchy ($41.4M). Disney’s The BFG was fourth with $2.3M at 3,357 and a seven-day running total of $31.1M.