Illumination Entertainment’s latest CG flick The Secret Life of Pets took in a staggering $103 million at the box office over its opening weekend. As Forbes‘ film biz expert Scott Mendelson points out, that makes it the sixth-biggest animated debut of all time. And it’s Illumination’s second debut to top $100M. Most impressively, Pets has set a new opening weekend record for a totally original story to hit the big screen.
Pets earned $36M on Saturday and an estimated additional $27.8M on Sunday. Ahead of its release, industry watchers were expecting the inventive comedy-adventure about what pets get up to when their humans are out to prove a box office hit, with many pegging an impressive $75M as the expected total (on par with Disney’s Zootopia back in March). The successful opening and positive reviews prove that Illumination is a formidable animation brand now, and it doesn’t just do Minions. This is a good sign for the studio’s next release, Sing, coming late in the year.
The new release has opened in nine territories so far, bringing in $42.6M overseas. It will roll out in 57 more territories through the summer. You can read more about The Secret Life of Pets in the August/September issue of Animation Magazine!
In second place over the weekend was WB’s The Legend of Tarzan, dropping slightly in its second week and taking $20.6M. Disney-Pixar’s Finding Dory was bumped to third but just barely, earning $20.3M over the weekend for a domestic total of $422.5M, making it the highest-grossing domestic release of 2016 and the third-highest grossing animated release of all time. Finding Dory‘s overseas total climbed to $220.2M, with openings in Mexico, Japan, U.K., Italy and Germany still to come.