It has already been one of the biggest years ever for animation at the American box-office, with first Zootopia and then Finding Dory breaking nearly every record that has come their way. Now yet another animated feature has claimed the box-office number one spot- this time The Secret Life Of Pets.
The film was a big test for Illumination Entertainment, as it was their opportunity to prove they have more to offer than those pesky minions. Their first release outside the Despicable Me franchise has turned out to be an unqualified success, taking in an estimated $103 million opening weekend.
That's not quite as big an opening as last summer's Minions, but is enough to claim the crown of biggest opening of an original (non sequel, non adaptation) animated feature to date. The previous holder of that record was Inside Out last summer.
Illumination's new film has a universally appealing concept (just what do your pets get up when you're not around?) and has been smartly marketed. It has paid off in spades, with the movie reportedly proving popular with adult audiences as much as family moviegoers.The film had already opened at number one in a number of markets- including the UK- last month. And thanks to Illumination's knack of turning in films with a modest budget (in comparison to Disney and Pixar at least), The Secret Life Of Pets has already made back it's production costs.
Meanwhile, Pixar's Finding Dory continues to keep on swimming, and has now overtaken Captain America Civil War to become the biggest earner of 2016 so far. It's also currently the third biggest animated film overall.
With Ice Age: Collision Course and Kubo And The Two Strings still to come out before the summer is out, this blockbuster season is shaping up to be a major triumph for animated features at the box office.