Foreign audiences gave “The Secret Life of Pets” a vigorous belly rub and some welcome scratches behind the ears. The animated hit from Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures topped the overseas charts over the weekend, picking up $45 million from 53 territories.
The look at what animals do when their owners aren’t at home has earned a hefty $674.5 million on a $75 million budget, making it one of the year’s biggest hits. It also launches a new franchise, with a sequel slated to come out in 2018.
“The Secret Life of Pets” got a big jolt from Russia, where it opened in first place with $19.5 million. It also opened this weekend in Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lebanon and Portugal. Next week, the film will debut in Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines. “The Secret Life of Pets” is another success for Illumination, which has scored in recent years with “Despicable Me” and “Minions.”
Last weekend’s champ, “Suicide Squad,” had to settle for runner-up status. The Warner Bros. release is a “Dirty Dozen”-style action adventure that follows a team of super villains on a deadly mission. It made $38 million over the weekend, pushing the film past the $300 million mark overseas and bringing its worldwide haul to $572.7 million.
“Line Walker” nabbed third place with $16.5 million, pushing the crime drama’s overall gross to $71.3 million. The film is an adaptation of a Hong Kong detective TV series.
Paramount’s “Star Trek Beyond” and Universal’s “Jason Bourne” tied for fourth place with $11.3 million, propelling their worldwide grosses to $231.1 million and $278.8 million, respectively. “Ben-Hur” rounded out the top five, picking up $10.7 million from more than 20 territories. The historical epic flopped spectacularly this weekend, earning $11.4 million in its domestic debut. That’s a disastrous result considering that the film cost $100 million to make.