After a lackluster 4th of July holiday at the box office, Universal's animated comedy The Secret Life of Pets breathed new life into the sagging summer season last weekend with a whopping $104.3 million. This surprise hit will face two newcomers this Friday, Sony's Ghostbusters reboot and Broad Green Pictures' The Infiltrator, starring Bryan Cranston. If our predictions are accurate, it should be a close call at the box office, with Ghostbusters just barely beating out The Secret Life of Pets with $64 million.
Animated films don't normally suffer huge drops like many summer blockbusters, so we're predicting that Secret Life of Pets will drop 40%, which would would put its second weekend total at $62.5 million. Of course, with the top two so close together, it could very well turn out the other way around, with The Secret Life of Pets repeating atop the box office, so we'll have to wait and see. Box Office Mojo reports that Ghostbusters will debut in more than 3,700 theaters, while The Infiltrator doesn't have a theater count estimate. Both movies are faring well with critics, though, with Ghostbusters earning a 77% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Infiltrator scoring a 69% "Fresh" rating on the site.
Universal and Illumination Entertainment's Secret Life of Pets was also a hit with critics this weekend, earning a solid 76% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The opening weekend rollout of 4,370 theaters was the fifth widest of all time, behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (4,375), Iron Man 2 (4,380), The Dark Knight Rises (4,404) and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (4,468). The movie has already turned a profit, since it was produced under a $75 million, and it has also made an additional $42.7 million internationally for a worldwide total of $147.1 million.
For one bustling Manhattan apartment building, the real day starts after the folks on two legs leave for work and school. That's when the pets of every stripe, fur, and feather begin their own nine-to-five routine: hanging out with each other, trading humiliating stories about their owners or auditioning adorable looks to get better snacks. The buildings top dog, Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) a quick witted terrier rescue who's convinced he sits at the center of his owner's universe, finds his pampered life rocked when she brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a sloppy, massive mess of a mongrel with zero interpersonal skills. When this reluctant canine due find themselves out on the mean streets pf New York, they have to set aside their differences and unite against a fluffy-yet cunning bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart), who's building an army of ex-pets abandoned by their owners and out to turn the tables on humanity...all before dinner time.
Ghostbusters makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today - Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. This summer, they're here to save the world! The supporting cast is rounded out by Andy Garcia as the mayor of New York City, Michael K. Williams as Hawkins, Matt Walsh as Rourke, Pat Kiernan as a news anchor and Neil Casey as the human villain Rowan, along with cameos from original Ghostbusters stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson.
This week's other new release, The Infiltrator, is based on the true story of Robert Mazur (Bryan Cranston), a federal customs and excise agent who lived the high life of Colombia's most powerful cartels while using his undercover alias "Bob Musella," all the while recording damning evidence that culminated in a major takedown at a staged wedding. His target under Operation C-Chase was bankers who manipulated complex international finance systems in order to launder money for drug lords like Pablo Escobar, and ultimately proved critical in the conviction of General Manuel Noriega. The top 5 will be rounded out by Finding Dory ($13.4 million), The Legend of Tarzan ($11.5 million) and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates ($9.1 million).
The top 10 will be rounded out by The Purge: Anarchy ($6 million), The Infiltrator ($5.8 million), Central Intelligence ($4.2 million), Independence Day: Resurgence ($3.8 million) and The BFG ($3.5 million). Also opening in limited release is Lionsgate's Cafe Society, the latest from Woody Allen, A24's Equals, GKIDS' Phantom Boy, Independent's Undrafted and Quality Flix's documentary Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. It isn't known if any of these limited release movies will expand in the weeks to come.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Paramount will roll out their long-awaited sequel Star Trek Beyond, which will go up against Warner Bros. thriller Lights Out and 20th Century Fox's animated sequel Ice Age: Collision Course in theaters. Also opening in limited release is Fox Searchlight's Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, Mirror Images Ltd.'s Beta Test, The Film Arcade's Don't Think Twice, Reliance Big Pictures' Madaari, Strand's Summertime and Well Go USA's Train to Busan. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, but in the meantime, take a look at our projections for this weekend at the box office.