Universal's "The Secret Life of Pets 2" opened as the top film in U.S. and Canadian theaters over the weekend, beating a poorly reviewed finale to the X-Men series.
The sequel brought in $47.1 million, according to an email Sunday from research firm Comscore Inc. That compared with estimates that ranged from $51 million to $62 million. "Dark Phoenix," which was acquired by Walt Disney Co. in its takeover of Fox's entertainment business earlier this year, opened in second place with $33 million.
Even with its No. 1 showing, "Secret Life of Pets 2" trailed the $104 million opening for its 2016 predecessor, which had the best debut ever for an original animated film. Some families may have opted instead to scoop up presale tickets for the June 20 release of Pixar's "Toy Story 4," which has already broken Fandango records.
"Dark Phoenix" -- the last of the 19-year-long
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X-Men series made by Fox and the first to be distributed by Disney -- had originally been set for a November 2018 release. The later debut didn't seem to help the movie, which was panned by critics. Only 23 percent of reviews were positive, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Boxoffice Pro had projected this weekend's top 10 films to increase between 71 percent and 76 percent from the year-earlier weekend, when "Ocean's 8," "Hereditary" and "Hotel Artemis" debuted.