Weekend Forecast: ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ & ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’

This weekend two new wide releases will try their best to dethrone Finding Dory from atop the box office mountain and prevent it from winning a fourth straight contest. The Secret Life of Pets from Universal presents the biggest threat to Dory as it tackles the same demographic as the Pixar film and has generated heaps of pre-release buzz online. Fox’s Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is the dark horse of the weekend as it hopes to connect with a broad demographic and surprise.

The Secret Life of Pets


  • Online buzz has been particularly strong for the film across both Facebook and Twitter. Only the aforementioned Finding Dory has managed bigger numbers than it and even still its 2 million Facebook likes for a net new property is supremely impressive.
  • Early reviews have been very strong and while it might not be a ‘fresh’ as Finding Dory its 80+% rating on Rotten Tomatoes still allows it to be one of the best reviewed wide release films on the year.
  • Universal has done very well with July animated releases over the past few years with both Despicable Me films and Minions being massive hits. Secret Life is tapping into much of the same demographic by shamelessly exploiting the cuteness factor of its ‘stars’ similar to what it did for Minions which, not coincidentally at all, opening on the exact same weekend last year.


  • Finding Dory is well on its way to becoming the highest grossing animated film of all time and still a potent force at the box office. With significant overlap in their target demographic it could siphon much of the potential business for The Secret Life of Pets. Also, while it didn’t have that big of a splash on opening weekend The BFG also provides yet another target for the same audience.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates


  • R-rated wedding themed comedies have a long history of being one of the most lucrative laugher sub-genres with Wedding Crashers, The Hangover and Bridesmaids all being massive summer hits.
  • With both Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick the film boosts two very recognisable leads.
  • Early reviews have been generally positive as it currently boasts a 65+% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.


  • Social media returns have been generally rotten as it has yet to hit 100,000 Facebook likes or 2,000 tweets in a day outside of trailers. Dirty Grandpa performed nearly identically on both Twitter and Facebook which hints at it having similar decent, if unspectacular returns.
  • Outside of Neighbors (where he was a supporting actor) Zac Efron has managed opening weekend tallies of $11.1 million, $1.8 million and $8.7 million for his last three wide releases at the box office. Hardly confidence inspiring especially when two of those three films were r-rated comedies (Dirty Grandpa and That Awkward Moment).

Top 10 Forecast

Box Office Pro forecasts this weekend’s top ten films will generate $173 million. That would mark a 17% drop from last year’s $202.4 million when Universal’s Minions created all sorts of trouble for the competition, opening to $115.7 million.

Check out our complete weekend forecast below.

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through
Sunday, July 10
The Secret Life of Pets Universal $79,000,000 $79,000,000
Finding Dory Disney $23,000,000 $424,775,000
The Legend of Tarzan Warner Bros. $17,400,000 $78,500,000
The BFG Disney $12,200,000 $43,250,000
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Fox $10,500,000 $10,500,000
The Purge: Election Year Universal $10,000,000 $56,750,000
Central Intelligence Warner Bros. $7,500,000 $107,500,000
Independence Day: Resurgence Fox $6,700,000 $90,700,000
The Shallows Columbia $4,400,000 $45,500,000
Free State of Jones STX Entertainment $2,300,000 $20,200,000
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