LOS ANGELES • Few summer movies had as much riding on them as The Secret Life Of Pets. NBCUniversal started work on a related theme-park ride before selling a single ticket.
"If the film doesn't do as well as I think, it will be painful," company chief executive Steve Burke said last month.
Well, the pooches and their pals pulled it off: The Secret Life Of Pets took in about US$103.2 million (S$139.2 million) over the weekend at North American cinemas, the largest opening this year for an original movie.
Moreover, Illumination Entertainment, Universal's animation division, kept production costs to a relatively modest US$75 million.
Universal and Illumination, the studio behind the Despicable Me series, spent at least a year marketing the film, which received playful reviews.
The Legend Of Tarzan (Warner Bros) was a distant second, collecting about US$20.6 million, according to comScore, which compiles box-office data.
Finding Dory (Disney) was third, with domestic ticket sales of about US$20.4 million for a four-week domestic total of US$422.6 million.
NEW YORK TIMES