‘Ghostbusters’ Can’t Knock ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ From No. 1

Sony’s female led horror-comedy reboot makes $46 million, sequel on the horizon

“Ghostbusters” came in at second place during its first weekend in theaters, grossing an estimated $46 million from 3,963 screens.

Grosses for Sony and Village Roadshow’s horror-comedy reboot are right in line with expectations.

Illumination Entertainment and Universals “The Secret Life of Pets” won the box office in its second weekend in a row with $50.6 million from 4,381 locations — shy of initial analyst predictions of $55 million, but in line with studio estimates.

The PG-rated animated feature came in close behind “Ghostbusters” on Friday with $15.1 million and was expected to gain momentum on Saturday and Sunday, when families flock to theaters.

The reboot, starring Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon, grossed $17.2 million to lead the box office on Friday. But that wasn’t enough to propel it to a weekend win.

Made on a production budget of $144 million, the film revolves around the lead Ghostbusters tackling a whole new haunting in New York City.

It represents the biggest film in which director Paul Feig and McCarthy have collaborated and is the highest grossing live-action comedy in more than a year — easily topping the $33.5 million opening by Universal’s “Ted 2” June of last year.

“Ghostbusters” received generally favorable reviews, with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 73 percent, but a weighted Metacritic score of only 60. The film also has a B+ Cinemascore, reflecting audience anticipation levels among those surveyed.

On the heels of the film’s opening, Sony is looking to build out the franchise, TheWrap learned Sunday.   “The ‘Ghostbusters’ world is alive and well,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at the studio.

While a sequel has yet to be officially announced, he added, “There’s no doubt in my mind it will happen.”

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Meanwhile, Broad Green’s drug cartel drama “The Infiltrator” came in eighth with $6.7 million during its five-day opening — $5.3 million of that during the three-day weekend. In theaters since Wednesday, the fact-based film stars Oscar nominee Bryan Cranston and played on 1,601 screens.

The film has an A- Cinemascore with mixed review averages: 65 percent Rotten Tomatoes and a favorable 66 Metascore.

Grosses for “The Infiltrator” are in line with analyst expectations.

At the specialty box office, Woody Allen‘s “Cafe Society” got off to a very strong start in five theaters, grossing $355,000. That puts the Amazon Studios film at an estimated per theater average of $71,000, which would be the biggest per screen average opening weekend of all films in 2016. It has a strong 78 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and a favorable 66 Metascore. The film, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Steve Carell, is being distributed by Lionsgate.

Warner Bros.’ “The Legend of Tarzan” came in at No. 3 with $11.12 million in its third weekend in theaters. Fourth place went to Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” which made $11 million in its fifth weekend. And 20th Century Fox’s  R-rated comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” rounded out the top five with $7.5 million in its second weekend.

The Top Five:
1. “The Secret Life Of Pets” (Universal) — $50.6 million in Week 2 ($203.2 million total)
2. “Ghostbusters” (Sony) — $46 million in Week 1 ($46 million total)
3. “The Legend of Tarzan” (Warner Bros.) — $11.1 million in Week 3 ($103.1 million total)
4. “Finding Dory” (Disney) — $11 million in Week 5 ($445.5 million total)
5. “Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates” (20th Century Fox) — $7.5 million in Week 2 ($31.3 million total)