Box Office: 'Secret Life of Pets' Bites Off Huge $103.2M Opening

Elsewhere, Zac Efron and Adam Devine's 'Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates' likewise beat expectations with a $16.6 million domestic opening.

Audiences can't seem to get enough of animated family films about animals.

Illumination Entertainment and Universal's The Secret Life of Pets debuted to a bigger-than-expected $103.2 million from 4,370 theaters at the North American box office — delivering Chris Meledandri's Illumination its first new franchise after Despicable Me/Minions and eclipsing Pixar's Inside Out ($90.4 million) to score the best start ever for an original animated property, not accounting for inflation. It's also the No. 6 opening ever for any animated film, and Illumination's second-best start after last summer's Minions ($115.7 million).

Overseas, the $75 million film took in $7.8 million from its first nine markets for an early foreign total of $42.6 million and global tally of $145.8 million. Pets continued rule in the U.K., where it stayed No. 1 for the third straight weekend with $4.8 million.

Another summer animated tentpole — Fox's Ice Age: Age Collision Course — also made waves overseas, grossing $32.2 million from 25 markets, many of them in Latin America, for an early foreign cume of $57.7 million. Collision Course, which doesn't open domestically until July 22, placed No. 2 overseas, with the top spot on the foreign chart going to Cold War 2, a Hong Kong film that debuted to $44 million in China.

In North America, Pets easily placed No. 1, although Finding Dory was still no slouch despite the competition.

Finding Dory, which had topped the box-office chart for three consecutive weekends, took in $20.4 million from 4,085 locations. On Friday, the animated tentpole passed fellow Disney title Captain America: Civil War ($406 million) to become the summer's top-grossing film to date in North America, finishing Sunday with $422.6 million. By end of the day Monday, it will overtake The Lion King ($422.8 million) to become the top-grossing Disney animated release of all time, not accounting for inflation.

Better yet, Disney has hit $5 billion in global box-office revenue in record time, beating Universal. And many believe the studio will set a new industry record and cross $7 billion in global box office revenue this year. (Universal is the current champ with $6.9 billion.)

Overseas, Finding Dory paddled to another $29.7 million this weekend for a foreign cume of $220.2 million and global haul of $642.8 million, including $38.1 million from China.

Earlier this year, Disney Animation Studios' Zootopia launched to $75 million domestically on its way to earning a dazzling $1.02 billion worldwide. Finding Dory, which landed the biggest animated opening of all time earlier this summer with $135.6 million, and Pets continue the animal-themed craze.

Secret Life of Pets, revealing what pets of all shapes and sizes do after their owners leave the house, boasts a voice cast that includes Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart (marking the first time the three have worked on an animated movie), Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan and Albert Brooks.

"There's a remarkable connection between owners and their pets which transcends age and culture. While families made up 54 percent of the audience, adults without kids made up 25 percent. That speaks to the point about pets," Universal domestic distribution president Nick Carpou said Sunday. "Illumination has become a significant brand in the world of broad-scale entertainment, evidenced by two titles opening north of $100 million."

Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2) directed the $75 million film, which earned an A- CinemaScore.

Elsewhere, Fox’s R-rated comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, starring Zac Efron and Adam Devine, also exceeded expectations in grossing $16.6 million from 2,982 locations, thanks to a strong turnout from younger moviegoers (50 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25) and a strong dose of males (48 percent).

"It's a movie for everyone," Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson said Sunday. "We haven an original, R-rated comedy that's resonating with audiences. It's a relatable concept, and a great escape." 

Outside of the Neighbors franchise, the $33 million film marks one of Efron's better recent openings and helps soothe the sting of 2015 box-office bomb We Are Your Friends. The raunchy film debuted overseas in its first 19 markets with $3.7 million for a global bow of $20.3 million.

Directed by Jake Szymanski, Mike and Dave follows two hedonistic brothers who are tasked with finding respectable dates for their sister's wedding. They put an ad on Craigslist and end up taking two best friends (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza) who are actually bigger troublemakers than they are. Chernin Entertainment produced the film, which delivered plenty of males (48 percent).

Among holdovers, Legend of Tarzan is battling Finding Dory for the No. 2 spot with $20.6 million from 3,591 theaters for a domestic total of $81.4 million, a subdued number considering its $180 million production budget. Final Monday numbers will determine whether Tarzan or Dory prevailed (most box-office analysts have Dory ahead).

Tarzan is likewise sluggish overseas so far in comparison to its cost, grossing another $27 million this weekend from 47 markets for a foreign total of $54 million and global tally of $135.4 million. It doesn't land in China until July 19. To date, it's performed best in Russia ($6.3 million). Among new markets, the pic opened in the U.K. to $4.7 million debut, followed by Mexico ($4.6 million) and Australia ($4.4 million).

Still, Tarzan is in notably better shape than Steven Spielberg and Disney's family film The BFG, which tumbled 57 percent in its second outing to No. 7 in North America over the weekend with $7.6 million from 3,392 theaters for a domestic cume of $38.7 million and a global tally of $50.6 million.

The Purge: Election Year rounded out the top five with $11.7 million from 2,821 theaters in its second weekend for a domestic cume of $58.1 million and worldwide total of $60.3 million. The horror pic, costing just $10 million to make, is another win for Blumhouse Productions, Platinum Dunes and Universal.

Meanwhile, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart's Central Intelligence has jumped the $100 million mark domestically, earning $8.1 million in its fourth weekend for a cume of $108.3 million and placing a pleasing No. 6. The action comedy from New Line and Universal has enjoyed an exceptional hold. Its foreign total stands at $48 million for a worldwide cume of $158.2 million.

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