Box office hits and misses: ‘Pets’ wins, but ‘Finding Dory’ is the biggest movie of 2016

weekend box office finding dory secret life of pets gopro 2
Pixar’s animated sequel Finding Dory finally got knocked out of the top spot after three blockbuster weeks, but the success of new box-office champion The Secret Life of Pets wasn’t enough to keep the wildly popular fish story from breaking even more records.

With another $20.3 million in U.S. theaters, Finding Dory is now the highest-grossing film of 2016 in U.S. theaters with $422.5 million, and the highest-grossing animated movie of all time (domestically) for parent company The Walt Disney Company. The film’s weekend earnings were enough to move it past Toy Story 3 on Disney’s all-time chart, and to move it past another Disney project, Marvel Studios’ live-action Captain America: Civil War, to take the top spot for the year.

Still, despite all of the records being broken by Finding Dory, the film slipped to third place for the weekend, falling behind original animated feature The Secret Life of Pets and the live-action jungle adventure The Legend of Tarzan. Many pundits expected the competition between Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets to negatively affect one — or both — of the animated features, but both films seemed to have no problem attracting audiences.

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets earned its own spot in the record books with a $103.1 million opening that gave it the best opening weekend of all time in U.S. theaters for an original (not a sequel or adaptation) animated feature. It moved past Disney’s 2015 Oscar winner Inside Out ($90.4 million) and this year’s Disney release Zootopia ($75 million) to become the new opening-weekend champ among original animated movies.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. The Secret Life of Pets $103.1M $103.1M $145.7M
2. The Legend of Tarzan $20.6M $81.4M $135.4M
3. Finding Dory $20.3M $422.5M $642.7M
4. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $16.6M $16.6M $20.3M
5. The Purge: Election Year $11.7M $58.1M $60.3M
6. Central Intelligence $8.1M $108.3M $156.2M
7. Independence Day: Resurgence $7.7M $91.5M $305.7M
8. The BFG $7.6M $38.7M $50.6M
9. The Shallows $4.8M $45.8M $48.2M
10. Sultan $2.2M $3.2M $3.2M

As for the rest of this weekend’s top movies, The Legend of Tarzan continued to limp along in second place, but is becoming less and less likely to recoup its estimated $180 million production costs with every weekend.

It was an entirely different story for the raunchy comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, which over-performed in its opening weekend and should have no problem covering its costs. Things were looking even better for horror sequel The Purge: Election Year and buddy comedy Central Intelligence, which both continued to do well in theaters and have already generated the sort of money that makes studios very, very happy.

As expected, sci-fi sequel Independence Day: Resurgence is relying heavily on overseas crowds to turn a profit, with the film earning just $91.5 million in the U.S. to more than $214.2 million internationally. Thanks to the overseas audience, the film has already covered its $165 million budget, so — much like with the recent Warcraft — we’ll soon learn whether the international market really can carry a movie to bona fide blockbuster status.

This upcoming week’s big release is director Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot, which will almost certainly take over the top spot thanks to all of the buzz — both positive and negative — surrounding it heading into the weekend. Bryan Cranston’s undercover drug-war drama The Infiltrator also arrives in theaters, but with two huge animated features and Ghostbusters all in the mix, the studio likely has low expectations for the film, despite all of the positive critical buzz it’s generating ahead of its release.

Home Theater

Now-canceled ‘Daredevil’ was one of Netflix’s most popular shows

Netflix recently canceled Marvel's Daredevil just a month after the premiere of the show's third season, despite reports indicating that it was one of the service's most popular shows.
Deals

Today’s best Amazon deals: Sony, Netgear, and Samsung

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but for retail giants like Amazon, the savings are only getting started. We've scoured the depths of Amazon to find you the very best deals going on right now.
Gaming

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a microSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.
Deals

18 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up and plugged in while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 18 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding…
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Podcasts

'Avengers: Endgame' trailer chills, 'Game of Thrones' teaser, $100M 'Friends'

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about the Avengers 4 trailer (aka Avengers: Endgame), the latest nothing of a Game of Thrones teaser, Netflix's $100 million barter to keep Friends, and much more!
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

Sling TV ramps up its base programming with Discovery Networks for free

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Alita,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, as well as new trailers for Alita: Battle Angel and Bumblebee.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.