ByElise Jost, writer at
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Elise Jost

Clearly there's no better time for animated features than the start of summer: From keeping your kids busy after school's ended, to escaping those extra degrees with the cool air conditioning of movie theaters, need I list all the advantages of a summer release? Which is why it should come as no surprise that Disney Pixar's Finding Dory and Illumination Entertainment's The Secret Life of Pets packed a serious punch at this weekend's box office, and they even defied expectations, marking 2016 as one of the best summers for animation.

Meanwhile, Ghostbusters seemingly survived the heated controversy that surrounded it since the very first time it was announced. The rage of sexist comments about the all-female main cast was in the spotlight for a while, but other fans were also upset at the fact that Ghostbusters would get a reboot at all. So, considering that the movie's trailer is the most hated trailer on YouTube, its results on the weekend are quite impressive.

The Secret Life Of Pets Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down

Last weekend, Illumination's latest hit after Minions took home the biggest opening record for an original animated movie. With $103.17 million domestically, it went way past Inside Out's previous $90.4 million record, proving that original ideas can be just as bankable as sequels. And a week later, The Secret Life of Pets is still performing extremely well: It took the #1 spot with $50.5 million, meaning that it earned $203.1 million domestically in just ten days.

Finding Dory Is Simply The Highest Grossing Animated Movie Ever In The US

Finding Dory wasn't necessarily destined to win the box office as it did, as it risked suffering from the sequel curse and just not matching the magic of its predecessor, Finding Nemo. But there's absolutely no reason to worry about that anymore: The tale of the forgetful fish has become the highest grossing animated release ever in the US! With a domestic total of $445.5 million, it's just ahead of Shrek 2's $441.2 million gross. Maybe Pixar shouldn't stop making sequels after all.

Despite The Controversy, Ghostbusters Is Second At The Weekend's Box Office

'Ghostbusters' / Sony Pictures
'Ghostbusters' / Sony Pictures

Amidst all that animation fever, Ghostbusters still took the second spot on the weekend's podium with a respectable $46 million, meeting box office forecasts. Most importantly, it's the biggest domestic opening ever for both director Paul Feig and lead actress Melissa McCarthy, whose previous movie The Boss ended up with a $123 million gross. Ghostbusters' budget stands at $144 million, so its second week performance will be crucial to determining the movie's success overall.

When you look at how heated the controversy around the movie's very concept was, however, the ladies deserve a big round of applause. With the recent Hollywood trend of remaking popular franchises, the complaint that a studio is about to "ruin your childhood" seems to have become the internet's new go-to phrase. Add to that the fact that the new version used four female heroes instead of male, and the movie got unnecessarily violent backlash before it was even released.

But once people actually went to see the movie, reviews turned out to be quite good. It's currently at 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, and while anyone's free to prefer the 1984 version, there's no denying that today's childhoods will be anything but ruined.

Which movies are on your list this summer?

[Source: Box Office Mojo]


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