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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Ghostbusters’ Opens Well, but Not Well Enough to Topple ‘The Secret Life of Pets’

Sony
Sony

How much does the new Ghostbusters need to make if it wants to be a bonafide, genuine hit? The opening weekend for director Paul Feig’s reboot of the beloved franchise raises more questions than answers and the second and third weekend will ultimately prove more telling. However, here’s what we can say right now: it opened with solid numbers in second place behind last week’s massive champion, The Secret Life of Pets.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Secret Life of Pets $50,560,000 (-51.5) $11,541 $203,147,000
2 Ghostbusters $46,000,000 $11,607 $46,000,000
3 The Legend of Tarzan $11,120,000 (-47.1) $3,132 $103,050,000
4 Finding Dory $11,040,000 (-47.0) $3,122 $445,504,000
5 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $7,500,000 (-54.9) 
$2,493 $31,323,000
6 The Purge: Election Year $6,080,000 (-50.9) $2,276 $71,001,000
7 Central Intelligence $5,300,000  (-34.0) $2,226 $117,508,000
8 The Infiltrator $5,287,000 $3,304 $6,749,000
9 The BFG $3,747,000 (-52.0) $1,717 $47,336,000
10 Independence Day: Resurgence $3,450,000 (-55.7) $1,507 $98,516,000

Let’s take a look at that $46 million opening for Ghostbusters and consider what it means. On hand hand, it’s almost certainly not what the folks at Sony were hoping for when they spent superhero movie sums of money to resurrect this franchise. On the other, it is by far the biggest opening in the careers of Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy so far. More importantly, both Feig and McCarthy have made films that have grown strong legs and multiplied their opening weekends several times over. However, Ghostbusters is a different beast than the likes of Bridesmaids and Spy — it’s far more a typical blockbuster and it has the budget to match. Losing the opening weekend race isn’t the best look in the world, but Ghostbusters has always been a tale of underdogs. Keep your eyes on this one.

The Secret Life of Pets continued to dominate though, grossing $50 million over the weekend for a current total of $203 million. It’s not going to do Finding Dory numbers, but it still has a strong chance of doing Zootopia numbers if the kids keep on coming back. The film is a hit, so now it’s a question of just how big of a hit it will be. $300 million feels likely, but it probably stops short of $350 million.

In third place, The Legend of Tarzan continued to show surprising resilience, grossing $11 million for a $103 million total. That’s not nearly enough to ensure that this film pays for itself on domestic box office alone (its international numbers are solid if unremarkable), but many went into this summer expecting this to be one of the season’s bigger bombs. One thing that has become clear? A Tarzan move will outgross Independence Day: Resurgence, which is about to drop out of the top 10 just shy of $100 million. It’s just not clear if that’s a stunning victory for Tarzan or a remarkable defeat for Independence Day.

In fourth place, Finding Dory finally began to taper off, grossing $11 million for a $445 million total. $500 million remains the next big benchmark and that is a gigantic question mark at this point. Still, it’s hard to imagine anyone being unhappy with the title of “highest grossing Pixar movie to date.”

In fifth place, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates continued to be a modest success, pulling numbers that are just strong enough. In sixth place, The Purge: Election Year is less than $1 million away from being the highest grossing film in the series thus far and it still has a few weeks of solid play ahead of it before it exits theaters. In seventh place, Central Intelligence continued solidifying its place as one of the summer’s quieter successes, although it will probably top out around $130 million or so.

And that brings us to The Infiltrator in eighth place, which opened in 1,600 theaters and did unremarkable business. Don’t expect to see this one topping the charts anytime soon.

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