The box office looks like it will have some bite this weekend, as Universal/Illumination Entertainment will unleash "The Secret Life of Pets" in more than 4,000 theaters. The release of the animated film comes after an advertising campaign that has spanned over a year, and anticipation for the movie is high. It should knock "Finding Dory," the three-week box office champ, from its perch at No. 1. Fox's raunchy comedy "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" will also hit theaters, albeit with a fraction of the fanfare that "Pets" is sure to generate. Overall, the weekend's top twelve films should make about $185 million in revenue, which would be about even with last weekend and down about 11% from the same frame last year.
Though "The Secret Life of Pets" is sure to have a huge opening this weekend, one question remains: how far can this puppy go? Universal has run a tireless marketing campaign for the movie, doing everything from buying a Super Bowl commercial to showing the trailer in front of a vast array of movies over the past year. Indeed, if you've seen a movie over the past year, chances are you've seen the trailer for "Pets": it's run in front of family fare like "The Jungle Book" and "Finding Dory," but also in front of movies playing to older audiences, like "Deadpool" and "Warcraft." The all-star voice cast, featuring Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart, is also sure to generate interest among older audiences. Universal is going for a four-quadrant hit here, and it looks as though "Pets" is going to knock it out of the park for the studio.