‘The Secret Life of Pets’ Barrels Toward Big Opening With $38.3 Million on Friday

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” makes $6.7 million

Last Updated: July 9, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

“The Secret Life of Pets” is barking up the right tree with moviegoers, earning $38.3 million on Friday from 4,370 screens.

Once the weekend is through, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures’ animated original should easily dethrone Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” which made $6.3 million on Friday.

The studio initially expected “Pets” to open north of its “Despicable Me” numbers from 2010 ($56.4 million), but Friday’s grosses have experts now putting its debut weekend somewhere north of $80 million.

The lead character in “Secret Life of Pets” is a terrier named Max, voiced by Louis C.K., who embarks on an odyssey through New York City with his newly adopted roommate Duke — a massive furry brown dog voiced by Eric Stonestreet. The rest of the film is dedicated to their attempt to get back home.

Fox’s R-rated comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” got off to a faster start than expected, making $6.7 million on Friday from 2,982 locations. Forecasts had the film grossing in the low double digits for the weekend, and now it looks like it will finish closer to $20 million.

That’s good news for the film, starring Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, which was made for $33 million before marketing costs.

Director Jake Szymansk’s debut feature stars Kendrick and Plaza as a couple of hapless friends who agree to be the wedding dates for two guys played by Efron and Adam Devine. Their main motivation is the free trip to Hawaii that comes with the job.

During Thursday previews, “Pets” took in $5.3 million across 3,009 theaters and “Mike and Dave” made a modest $1.6 million in 2,560 locations.