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Box office: 'Ghostbusters' can't compete with 'The Secret Life of Pets'

The new take on the classic comedy opened in second place behind holdover animated movie 'Pets.' 'Ghostbusters' stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon.

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'Ghostbusters' stars (from l.) Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon.

Hopper Stone/Sony Pictures/AP

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The animated movie “The Secret Life of Pets” came in first place at the box office again, grossing more than the new comedy “Ghostbusters,” showing that “Pets” continues to have a wide appeal for moviegoers.

“Pets” took in more than $50 million this past weekend after opening the previous week, while the new “Ghostbusters” film starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon grossed about $46 million at the domestic box office.

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The other highest-grossing movies at the weekend box office were movies that opened in previous weeks, including “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, and Samuel L. Jackson, which came in third and took in $11.1 million this past weekend, just ahead of the newest Pixar animated film, “Finding Dory,” which placed fourth, grossing about $11 million. The comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” grossed more than $7 million, placing fifth.

Another new movie, the Bryan Cranston drama “The Infiltrator,” opened in eighth place and took in more than $5 million. 

The performance of “Ghostbusters” in its opening weekend was acceptable, Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, told the Associated Press

“There was all this hoopla and all this chatter about the movie and now it's opened and it did just fine,” Mr. Dergarabedian said. 

Meanwhile, what’s making “Pets” do so well financially? Brent Lang of Reuters credits Americans’ interest in their animals. 

“The film deftly exploited dog- and cat-obsessed moviegoers to appeal to both parents and children,” Mr. Lang writes of the movie’s opening weekend success.

And Anthony D’Alessandro of Deadline writes that Illumination Entertainment (which is owned by Universal), which released “Pets,” has successfully staked out the weeks around the Fourth of July. Hits such as the “Despicable Me” series were previously released at that time. 

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“You can’t deny the post-July 4th date worked in 'Pets' behalf,” Mr. D’Alessandro writes. “In the wake of ‘Despicable Me 1 & 2’ and ‘Minions,’ audiences have come to expect a hysterical, satirical toon at this time of year.”


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