Weekend Box Office: Pets Bust Ghosts

Although the ‘Ghostbusters’ remake couldn’t dethrone juggernaut ‘The Secret Life of Pets’, its opening weekend was much stronger than YouTube trolls might like. At the same time, Bryan Cranston’s latest star vehicle underwhelmed while Woody Allen’s new limited release hit a home run.

After last weekend’s $104.3 million opening, ‘The Secret Life of Pets‘ once again retained the top spot at the box office. Despite falling 51.5%, which is a bit high for an animated family film, it made another $50.5 million. The picture, which was produced with a budget of $75 million, sits with an impressive ten-day total of $203.1 million.

In the face of harsh pre-release criticism, Sony stuck to its guns with ‘Ghostbusters‘ by giving the movie a very wide release and promoting the hell out of it – and it paid off. The reboot rolled out to nearly 4,000 screens, earned great critical response and ended up pulling in $46 million. That makes it the highest-debuting pictures for both director Paul Feig and co-lead Melissa McCarthy. If the film’s holdover is similar to that of Feig’s other comedies, it’ll be on track to bow just under $200 million. With a budget of $144 million, it’s going to need help from international showings to become profitable. Having earned $13.1 million this weekend from three large overseas markets, chances are good that it can get there as it expands over the next several weeks.

Warner Bros.’ ‘The Legend of Tarzan‘ surely didn’t open with the numbers and critical reception that the studio may have wanted, but it has held over quite well since then. In its third week, the movie slipped 47% and added another $11.1 million to its domestic run. To date, the $180 million flick has grossed $103 million domestically. Overseas, it now sits with $90.6 million.

After five weeks, Disney/Pixar’s ‘Finding Dory‘ has seized the record as the (domestic) highest-grossing animated release of all time. The fourth place $11 million weekend pushed its domestic run up to $445.5 million. (The previous record-holder was ‘Shrek 2’ with $441.2 million.) Another $276.2 million came from overseas, giving it a worldwide total of $721.7 million.

Rounding out the Top 5 was ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates‘, which took an expected second week hit as an R-rated comedy. Sliding 55% week-over-week, it scored $7.5 million. With a $33 million budget, the ten-day total of $31.3 million isn’t too shabby at all.

Without much in the way of marketing, it’s no surprise that the drug/crime drama ‘The Infiltrator‘ had an iffy opening. From 1,600 locations, it debuted to $5.2 million, which was only enough to land in the #8 spot. With a budget of $47.5 million, it needs to draw big numbers from its impending international release.

Based on the minuscule returns from Woody Allen’s last several films, I expected his latest to also have a lackluster debut. However, ‘Cafe Society‘ drew $355,000 from five locations. The resulting $71,000 per-screen average is the highest of any 2016 release. Could this be Allen’s next ‘Midnight in Paris’? With the nationwide rollout set for the next couple weeks, only time will tell.

Opening box office numbers have yet to be announced for Kristen Stewart’s second release of the weekend, ‘Equals’.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ (Universal) – $50,560,000

2. ‘Ghostbusters’ (Sony) – $46,000,000

3. ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ (Warner Bros.) – $11,120,000

4. ‘Finding Dory’ (Buena Vista) – $11,040,000

5. ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’ (Fox) – $7,500,000

6. ‘The Purge: Election Year’ (Universal) – $6,080,000

7. ‘Central Intelligence’ (Warner Bros.) – $5,300,000

8. ‘The Infiltrator’ (Broad Green) – $5,287,124

9. ‘The BFG’ (Buena Vista) – $3,747,000

10. ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ (Fox) – $3,450,000


  1. NJScorpio

    Jessie Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor came off so scattered and neurotic that I can totally see him as the stand in for Woody Allen as the lead in one of his pictures. More so Jason Biggs or Owen Wilson.

  2. If ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984) only cost $30 million, how can ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016) ever need to cost $144 million? Inflation is not that extreme over the course of 32 years.

  3. SuperSugarBear

    Ghostbusters can’t get to number one behind a children’s picture in its second week. Star Trek will finish it off this weekend. It has no significant foreign sales on the horizon with China out of the picture.
    This is a major flop. It needs $300 mil to break even. You can spin that all you like – but a flop is a flop.

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