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It was a bad weekend for franchise blockbusters at the box office, as Universal/Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2’ and Fox/Disney’s “Dark Phoenix” arrived in theaters and opened both below industry expectations and well behind the openings of their series predecessors.
“Secret Life of Pets 2” took No. 1 this weekend, but with an opening of $47.1 million from 4,561 screens and a $97 million global opening from 21 overseas markets. The animated sequel was never expected to come close to matching the $104.3 million that the first “Secret Life” made in 2016, but it has also fallen short of the $50 million opening projected by trackers and has posted one of lowest openings ever for an Illumination release.
Films - Animation - Studio - Openings - Hop
The only two films from the animation studio with lower openings are the 2011 live-action/CGI hybrid “Hop” with $37.5 million and the 2016 holiday film “Sing,” which opened to $35 million but had its opening total weighed down by Christmas Eve falling on a weekend and ended up legging out to a $270 million domestic run.
With “Toy Story 4” coming out in two weeks, it is very unlikely that “Secret Life of Pets 2” will be unable to match that figure, even with an A- CinemaScore and a 4.5 rating on Postrak. Critics have been mixed on the film with a 53% Rotten Tomatoes score, below the 73% score of the first film. But even if it doesn’t meet the high standards Illumination has set with its recent hot streak, at least “Pets 2” will make back its $80 million production budget and could still post a domestic run on the same level as the “How to Train Your Dragon” films.
Dark - Phoenix - Hand - Flop - Weekend
“Dark Phoenix,” on the other hand, is pacing to be an outright flop with an opening weekend of $33 million, according to...
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