It took a movie about adorable talking dogs and cats to dethrone the movie about the adorable talking fish. The Secret Life of Pets dominated the box office this weekend, making it the third 2016 family movie about chatty animals to make a huge splash. If this concept wasn’t as old as the animation medium itself, we could call this a trend.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1The Secret Life of Pets$103,170,000$23,609$103,170,000
2The Legend of Tarzan$20,615,000 (-46.5)$5,741$81,412,000
3Finding Dory$20,351,000 (-51.3)$5,257$422,580,000
4Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates$16,600,000$5,567$16,600,000
5The Purge: Election Year$11,700,000 (-62.9) 
6Central Intelligence$8,125,000 (-35.1)$2,860$108,325,000
7Independence Day: Resurgence$7,700,000  (-53.9)$2,516$91,495,000
8The BFG$7,604,000 (-59.5)$2,242$38,738,000
9The Shallows$4,800,000 (-45.3)$1,995$45,825,000

With a weekend haul of $103 million, The Secret Life of Pets had the second highest opening for a film from Illumination Entertainment, topped only by last year’s Minions. It will take the next few weeks to see if it will follow in the footsteps of the company’s most successful films and reach (or land near) the coveted $1 billion mark, but this is a very strong start. Family films tend to have longer legs than the competition, so it’s easy to imagine the film riding this wave for weeks and weeks, Zootopia-style, as the film benefits from a summer that has been pretty disappointing all around. It’s a desert out there and whether you like the movie or not, The Secret Life of Pets looked fresh enough to open huge. Next week will provide a clear indicator of whether or not that marketing is driving the box office or if people are genuinely liking the movie.

As The Secret Life of Pets dominated, The Legend of Tarzan and Finding Dory battled it out for second place and the numbers are close enough that these two could easily swap places by tomorrow. Right now, The Legend of Tarzan has seemingly edged out Pixar with $20.6 million, bringing the film’s current total to $81 million. That’s not a great number, but it’s pretty good for a movie that many expected to outright bomb. Still, if this film is ultimately considered a success you’ll have to thank the international numbers. Meanwhile, Finding Dory hit $422 million and is now the biggest domestic success of any Pixar movie. If still has long road ahead of it to snatch that title worldwide, but it’s possible.

And that bring us to Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, which opened in fourth place with a pretty good $16 million. That’s not the king of opening that gets everyone involved a fat bonus check and a bottle of champagne, but the film was modestly budgeted and unless it has a steep drop-off next week, it’ll make its money back. And who knows? If people like it, this is the kind of movie that has sleeper hit written all over it.

Last week’s champion, The Purge: Election Year, fell to fifth place after plummeting 62%. That percentage would signal death for many movies, but it’s fairly typical for the horror genre. Plus, this film only cost $10 million and has already made $58 million — it’s already deep in the black. Plus, it’s on track to become the highest grossing movie in the series so far, so no one is crying over this one.

With one strange exception (what the heck is Sultan?), the bottom five was fairly typical of the past few weeks. Central Intelligence broke $100 million and the news of future Dwayne Johnson / Kevin Hart collaborations now looks like a very wise move. Independence Day: Resurgence looks like it will manage to crawl over $100 million in the next two weeks or so, but that’s a sad state of affairs for the sequel to one of the most popular movies of the past twenty years. The Shallows is a minor hit, but a hit is a hit is a hit. And then there’s The BFG, which fell 59% and fully established itself as one of 2016’s more dispiriting box office bombs.

More From Lite 98.7