Setting the record for non-sequels and non-spinoffs in Hollywood is a bit like being the fastest swimmer in the desert. Make it a big enough record and they’ll build you a pool. Audiences love what they already know and Hollywood loves to give it to us — from The Fast and The Furious (it’s on #8 now and counting) to Toy Story (#4 plus plays, direct-to-video, TV, etc.). But these long-tailed box office monsters have to start somewhere. Someone has to steal that first car or animate that original cowboy. That’s what happened this weekend as Secret Life of Pets set a box office record for non-sequels and non-spinoffs, ringing up over $100 million in ticket sales.
Welcome to the $100M club, you animals. Universal’s THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS debuted with $103M this weekend.
— Exhibitor Relations (@ERCboxoffice) July 10, 2016
What does it mean? This means many things: that people love animals, that anthropomorphism is a nearly foolproof formula for success, that animation and animals are a heart-cheering combo, and that people want light summer fare like perhaps never before. Oh and it means one more thing for sure: there will be a sequel. And probably some spinoffs!