Secret Life of Pets Not So Secret Anymore

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Pets can be pretty expensive. You gotta buy ’em food. Take ’em to the vet. Replace the furniture they’ve scratched or gnawed on. And if you’ve got a dog like mine, maybe fork over some cash for the local mailman’s counseling sessions. It’s not often that pets make money. But few of us have pets like Universal Pictures.

The Secret Life of Pets made a lot of noise at the box office this weekend, yapping and mewing its way to a $103.2 million estimated weekend debut. It took first place, of course: In fact, it dug up five times what it nearest competitor made—a haul so huge that some might accuse it of (ahem) petty larceny.

But Secret Life wasn’t the only animated flick to make a few waves. Sure, Finding Dory may have slipped from its regular first-place perch to third (behind Secret Life and The Legend of Tarzan, which finished second with $20.6 million). But the $20.4 million the forgetful fish forgathered with its flippers brought the Pixar flick’s total earnings to just under $422.6 million. That’s enough to push Dory past Captain America: Civil War as the highest-grossing movie of 2016. And as we know, Dory’s not done yet: She just keeps swimming.

The R-rated comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates just couldn’t compete with the weekend’s PG-rated family-friendly onslaught. It earned just $16.6 million for a fourth-place finish. Sure, Mike and Dave did manage to surpass 20th Century Fox’s modest opening weekend expectations. But given the movie had an estimated $33 million budget, not to mention marketing costs, the movie’s sequel might very well be Mike and Dave Need a Loan.

The Purge: Election Year wrapped up the Top Five with $11.7 million.

Final figures update: 1. The Secret Life of Pets, $104.4 million; 2. The Legend of Tarzan, $21 million; 3. Finding Dory, $20.8 million; 4. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, $16.6 million; 5. The Purge: Election Year, $12.4 million.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

MichaelHovey More than 1 year ago
Sid in Toy Story is one of the most evil sadistic villains I've ever seen in an animated film. To say Toy Story has no villain is completely wrong in my opinion.
Alex Clark More than 1 year ago
I'm only mildly interested in Secret Life of Pets.  It kind of looks like its just "Toy Story with animals".  Probably will wait for video.  I'm going to see "Swiss Army Man" this week
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Alex Clark More than 1 year ago
Main character is a dog who is happy with his life until his owner buys a new dog, which gets more attention and makes the old dog jealous until they end up fighting and get lost and have to find their way home.
MichaelHovey More than 1 year ago
The Secret Life of Pets is nothing like Toy Story whatsoever. For one thing the only true villain in Pets is a snake that doesn't last long, whereas Toy Story has the cruel vicious Sid who tries to blow up Buzz. Plus for me at least the animals in Pets are way more cuter to look at than the toys in Toy Story, and there's also way more excitement in Pets as well. I've never been a fan of Toy Story in the first place (mostly because of how mean and cruel Sid is), but in my opinion The Secret Life of Pets surpasses it in every way possible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Posted by First Comment Guy


Glad to know that Finding Dory has made more money than Captain America: Civil Bore in the U. S. A. Compared to all the disappointing summer movies we've had, Finding Dory is like an oasis in a desert!


I still have hope in the rest of the summer movies of 2016 (except for Star Trek Beyond, which made the big no no of turning a character gay). Ghostbusters looks funny, Jason Bourne looks cool (I've actually haven't seen his other films), and Suicide Squad, well, I may just watch it since I'm a fan of DC Comics. I really hope the movie doesn't glorify villains and anti-heroes like Deadpool did. But I still have my hopes up.


The one summer movie I really can't wait to see is The Founder. I recently got a job at McDonalds this would be a great way to celebrate my first job! Plus, John Lee Hancock is directing, and I loved the other movies he's directed (he's the guy who directed The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks). In short, August 5th can't come soon enough!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did you call Captain America:Civil War disappointing? I couldn't tell from your comment so I wanted to clarify. I personally want to see Finding Dory, but I haven't found time yet.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Being huge fans of the first two Captain America films, my family and I were so excited to see Civil War. But, when the credits started to go up, we found it as a disappointing experience for all of us.

For me, there were some things in the movie that were done really, really well. And there were other things in the movie that was just trash.

The good things were the story line and how there isn't a right answer to the questions the movie asks. The acting was great and the airport battle was phenomenal. And the twist at the end was understandable on Iron Man's behalf.
And Spider-Man and (especially) Black Panther were great editions. (Although my Dad disliked him and called him a guy version of Catwoman)

But the bad stuff was the stuff that kept me from enjoying the movie. I really feel like the villains should've swapped places; Crossbones was a much more interesting villain, but he's killed off in the first ten minutes. And Baron Zemo was just another bland villain in Marvel's lineup. He wasn't even comic book accurate.

Another problem was the romance. So Cap's former girlfriend just died, but he shrugs it off and just decides to kiss another girl only a few days after the feuneral! What?!

Furthermore, Ant-Man joining Team Cap made no sense whatsoever; wasn't the whole point of his movie about him unbecoming a criminal? It would've made a lot more sense for Ant-Man and Spider-Man to swap sides.

After the opening battle, the first hour was boring, bogged down by too much talking. And when the location changed, I found it annoying the way they had those big letters cover the whole screen. What, Marvel thinks we can't read small letters?

And lastly, the ending left me just really disappointed; Rhoedy should've stayed dead, and the movie just stops all of a sudden. I found it a very erupt way to end it.

But hey, that's just my opinion; glad everyone else enjoyed it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Respectfully in return bobed, Warner Bros recently released an in depth synthesis for Suicide Squad. And it reads about the villains wondering whether or not they can be redeemed. Maybe this movie will be more like Guardians of the Galaxy than Deadpool. I certainly hope that's the case.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Well this is a big letdown; The Founder has been pushed back to December 16th as it's release date. Guess I'll have to wait and put The Founder on my list of Winter Blockbuster season movies.