If Hollywood studios really want to make money, then they should forget comic book movies, remakes, sequels and reboots. Though there are no sure-things when it comes to what people will go see in theaters, the closest to sure-things seem to be animated films.
So far this year, animated feature films have been the most successful, relative to budget, than any other kind of movie. There are a lot of parents looking for kid-friendly films to take their children to. And in a world seemingly full of violence and hate, no doubt people are looking for anything that lets them get away from the real world, even if only for a few hours. Though next month we’ll see how that theory holds up, when Sony Pictures releases their animated film “Sausage Party” – the first adult, R-rated animated film to come out in decades.
The major animated movies released this year – “Kung Fu Panda 3,” “Zootopia,” “Finding Dory” and “The Angry Birds Movie” – to a lesser extent, have all been big office hits, with “Zootopia” still in second place as the highest grossing film worldwide this year. And “Dory” is the highest grossing film domestically so far this year, beating out “Captain America: Civil War.” And currently at over $600 million worldwide, it’s the seventh highest grossing film, and is on track to becoming one of the top three grossing films worldwide this year. In fact, that 22% gap between box office totals this year compared to last year, has actually shrunk down to 3%, thanks to animated films.
So it’s no surprise that Universal/Illumination’s “The Secret Lives of Pets” was far and away the highest grossing film this weekend, with a huge $103 million box office take, which means a guaranteed $300 million domestic total, and most likely more than that.
In second place was Warner’s “The Legend of Tarzan” which saw its second weekend box office drop less than expected, with $20.6 million. But at $81 million total, and $154 million worldwide so far, it still has a very long way to go before the studio can even break even on the film. (And have any black people gone to see this film yet?)
In third place was Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Dory” which made just $300,000 less than “Tarzan” did this weekend, while “The Purge: Election Day” saw a huge drop of 63% for a total of $58 million so far; but with a production budget of only $10 million, it’s a big money maker for Universal.
And though he has had several b.o. disappointments in his long career, “The BFG” is turning out to be the biggest box office bomb ever for Steven Spielberg, earning just over $38 million total so far.
One last surprise is that, once again, a Bollywood film has made the top ten USA box office. In this case it’s “The Sultan” which has grossed over $3.2 million on just 283 screens, showing that you can find success by targeting a film to a specific audience without huge marketing costs.
“The Sultan” is a two and half hour (actually that’s short for a Bollywood film) wrestler/love story/musical/underdog-triumphs film, and looks insanely entertaining. Check out the trailer below which has gotten almost 26 million views so far.
First, the top 12 earners this weekend.
1) The Secret Life of Pets Uni. $103,170,000
2) The Legend of Tarzan WB $20,615,000 Total: $81,412,712
3) Finding Dory BV $20,351,000 Total: $422,580,243
4) Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Fox $16,600,000
5) The Purge: Election Year Uni. $11,700,000 Total: $58,110,275
6) Central Intelligence WB (NL) $8,125,000 Total: $108,325,338
7) Independence Day: Resurgence Fox $7,700,000 Total: $91,495,582
8) The BFG BV $7,604,000 Total: $38,738,762
9) The Shallows Sony $4,800,000 Total: $45,825,279
10) Sultan Yash $2,216,475 Total: $3,228,560
11) The Conjuring 2 WB (NL) $1,745,000 Total:99,373,332
12) Now You See Me 2 LG/S $1,375,000 Total: $62,204,213