‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ tops ‘Dark Phoenix,’ which has worst ever ‘X-Men’ opening

(L-R)- Chloe (Lake Bell) and her owner in Illumination?s “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” directed by Ch
Chloe (Lake Bell) and her owner in Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” directed by Chris Renaud.
(Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures)

Both of the weekend’s new wide releases, Fox’s “Dark Phoenix” and Universal’s animated sequel “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” failed to entice moviegoers, flailing at the box office after a few weeks of great business from “Avengers: Endgame,” “John Wick 3" and “Aladdin.”

Despite oversize marketing efforts, Illumination Entertainment’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2" disappointed with just $47.1 million earned in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, below analyst projections of $50 million to $60 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

Combined with $925,000 grossed through Fandango previews, it earned a cumulative $48 million, still less than half the original film’s $104.3 million opening in 2016 (it went on to earn $875.4 million globally).

The $80-million film earned an A- CinemaScore, but a 54% “rotten” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. With Pixar’s “Toy Story 4" opening in two weeks, “Pets” has a limited window and its long-term franchise potential took a huge blow.


In second place, “Dark Phoenix,” the final entry in Fox’s X-Men Universe, opened with a dismal $33 million, becoming the first film in the franchise to open below $50 million.

The film was rejected by audiences and critics, registering a B- CinemaScore and a 22% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the worst reviewed film in the franchise as well as the lowest opening.

Though expected to earn between $40 million and $50 million, “Dark Phoenix” grossed about $30 million less than the disappointing $65.7 million opening of 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

Internationally, “Dark Phoenix” earned $107 million for a global debut of $140 million, $14.1 million of which came from global IMAX ticket sales.


Despite the poor openings, the box office enjoyed another “up” weekend, grossing 37% more compared with this weekend last year.

At No. 3, Disney’s “Aladdin” added $24.5 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $232.4 million.

In fourth place, Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” added $15.5 million in its second weekend (a sizable 67% drop) for a cumulative $78.6 million.

Rounding out the top five, Paramount’s “Rocketman” added $14 million in its second weekend (a 46% drop) for a cumulative $50.5 million.

In sixth place, Universal’s “Ma” added $7.8 million in its second weekend (a 57% drop), for a cumulative $32.8 million.

At No. 7, Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum” added $7.4 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $138.7 million.

In eighth place, Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” added $4.8 million in its seventh weekend for a cumulative $824.4 million.

At No. 9, Warner Bros.’ “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” added $3 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $137.4 million.


Rounding out the top 10, United Artist Releasing’s “Booksmart” added $1.6 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $17.8 million.

In limited release, Amazon Studio’s R-rated comedy “Late Night” opened in four locations to $249,654 for the year’s best specialty per-screen average of $62,414. The film stars Emma Thompson as a late night talk show host with Mindy Kaling playing her sole female staff writer. It earned an 81% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

A24’s critically acclaimed “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” opened in seven locations to $230,744 for a strong per-screen average of $32,963. The R-rated drama chronicles gentrification in the changing city and earned a 94% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

CBS Films’ documentary “Pavarotti” opened on 19 screens to $142,500 for a per-screen average of $7,500. The Ron Howard-directed film earned an 84% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This week, the summer of sequels and re-imaginings continues with the opening of Sony and Columbia Pictures’ spinoff “Men in Black: International” and a Warner Bros. “Shaft” reboot.

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