In the weekend showdown on June 7-9 between Illumination/Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Fox/Disney’s X-Men finale Dark Phoenix, the household critters are poised to beat the mutants in their openings, $63M+ to $50M.
Some B.O. analysts think Pets 2 could even do more, maybe as high as $70M. The first 2016 movie opened to a massive $104.3M in U.S./Canada and amassed $368.3M stateside and over $875M worldwide.
Uni will bet on the longer leg potential of Pets 2 given the flood of event pics in the late May corridor including Aladdin, Warner Bros./Legendary’s Godzilla King of Monsters, and of course Dark Phoenix. The first Pets had the weekend all to itself.
Pets 2 has a full Symphony campaign to come over the next few weeks where all areas of Comcast, NBCU and SKY will activate across the entire portfolio to amplify promotional materials surrounding the film, so these projections could very well swell. In less than a decade, the Illumination canon has grossed more than $6B from nine pics off responsible budgets with profitable returns. Secret Life of Pets after all ancillaries made a reported $374M profit.
The last two X-Men movies launched over Memorial Day weekend 2014 and 2016. Dark Phoenix is going in the early June slot like Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class which repped a reboot of the franchise with younger characters. First Class opened to $55.1M and Dark Phoenix‘s 3-day will be just under that.
In addition, Amazon’s Sundance pick-up of Mindy Kaling’s Late Night is opening over the June 7-9 spread and is only expected to do $5M-$6M at this point in time.
The weekend prior on May 31, the weekend following Memorial Day, Warner Bros. has Legendary’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters which is expected to do around $51M, while Paramount’s $41M net production of R-rated musical biopic Rocketman is seeing around $28M, with Universal/Blumhouse’s Octavia Spencer stalker adult thriller Ma around $20M.