The Secret Life of Pets sets an opening box office record in the USA

Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets has set a record for an original animated property as it led a strong field of pictures through the post-holiday weekend, where the top twelve films grossed an estimated $206 million.

The weekend’s other big releases, Mike and Dave need Wedding Dates as well as the limited (only playing in 283 theaters) Yash Raj Bollywood picture Sultan, also performed well, both receiving top ten finishes.

A record initially held by Inside Out, the largest opening for an original animated property was $90.4 million. The $103.17 million opening for The Secret Life of Pets not only beats this record by a margin; it also becomes the sixth animated film to open with a box office of more than $100 million. It too has become the sixth film for the year to open above $100 million and 2016 has now tied the record for most films opening above the century mark in a single year. The film maintains an A- CinemaScore. The doesn’t open in Australia until the next holiday weekend run – September 8th.

The Legend of Tarzan came in at second an estimated $20.6 million. The picture from David Yates experienced a 46% drop and maintains an A- CinemaScore, keeping it above the expected 50% drop rate. However considering the budget, the film remains at a financial, as attention now turns to its international performance.

Finding Dory will take the bronze after three weeks atop the box office. The film has now grossed $422.5 million, making it the highest grossing domestic release of 2016 and third highest of all time. Finding Dory has also reached a global take of $642.8 million, contributing to Disney studios $5 billion worldwide and nearing $2 billion domestic performance, buoyed by their top three films of the year: Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia and The Jungle Book.

Mike and Dave need Wedding Dates was the first seat off the podium taking $16.6 million from an expected $12 million. The audiences tended to be equally split in both gender and age, with statistics telling of a 48% male vs. 52% female viewership and 50% of attendees under 25.

Other top ten performers were Central Intelligence ($8.1 million), The Conjuring 2 ($1.7 million) and Sultan (at $2.2 million becoming the largest Bollywood opening of the year). Me Before You added $10.5 million to it’s international total and Now You See Me 2 added $10.1 million to it’s international total.

While The Secret Life of Pets smashed more than a few records, the best performance per cinema actually went to Matt Ross’s Cannes winning film Captain Fantastic, which took home an estimated $98,451 from four theatres.

Smaller releases performed well across the board, with Cold War 2 at $165,500 from twenty-two theatres; Our Little Sister $27,070 from three theatres and Norman Lear: Just another Version of You opened with an estimated $20,000 from two New York theatres.

Sony’s remade Ghostbusters is expected to do well next weekend, opening in 3,700 theatres, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see it open below Pets. Also opening next week are The Infiltrator and Woody Allen‘s Café Society, both ones to watch on the lower half of the charts.

All the figures listed are USD and courtesy of Box Office Mojo

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