UK Box Office

The winner: The Secret Life of Pets

With back-to-back declines of just 20% and 24%, The Secret Life of Pets has held up remarkably well, reaching £22.3m after 19 days. It will soon overtakeZootropolis (£23.8m) to become the biggest animated film of the year so far – a title it may concede to Pixar’s Finding Dory after it opens at the end of the month.

Pets grossed £3.62m over the three-day weekend period, shrugging off the challenge of an Andy Murray Wimbledon final. This year, only The Jungle Bookhas taken more in its third frame. A year ago, Minions stood at £27.6m at the same stage of its run, on its way to a total of £47.8m. If Pets maintains a similar decay rate, it would reach an impressive £38.6m.

Second place: The Legend of Tarzan

Swinging into second place with £2.76m plus £809,000 in previews, The Legend of Tarzan has delivered solid numbers. Following a lengthy development process, Harry Potter director David Yates was attached in 2012. Budget wrangling delayed filming until June 2014, filming wrapped in October that year, before a lengthy post-production period. Its production budget is a reported $180m, suggesting that Warners probably had higher box-office aspirations for the film when it was greenlit. However, Tarzan is a well known character across multiple territories, and it’s too soon to be projecting the final profitability on the film.

Battle for third: Now You See Me 2 v Absolutely Fabulous

Now You See Me 2 has earned third place with box office of £2.96m. However, the film landed in cinemas last Monday, giving it four extra days of play that have been added into that total. Strip out the previews, and the illusionist caper’s weekend number drops to £1.6m. In other words, third place really belongs toAbsolutely Fabulous: The Movie, which posted weekend takings of £2.32m.

The original Now You See Me began its run in July 2013 with £2.9m, including previews of £1.1m. It went on to enjoy warm word of mouth, eventually reaching £11.21m.

Absolutely Fabulous’s second weekend decline is an OK 43%. Distributor Fox will take particular heart from the midweek result last week. The film debuted with £4.04m, and took £2.32m in the second session. With a total of £9.78m so far, that means it grossed a robust £3.42m during Monday-to-Thursday last week.

The Bollywood hit: Sultan

With £1.05m, including previews of £445,000, Sultan is the biggest Bollywood hit of the year so far. Written and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar (Gunday), it’s the story of a fictional mixed martial arts star played by Salman Khan (Dabangg). Khan’s last movie, Prem Ratan Dhan Pavo, kicked off last November with £912,000 including previews of £187,000. Stripping out the previews numbers, Sultan’s debut falls short of that result. Khan also starred last year in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which began with £758,000 and no previews.

With Central Intelligence one place above Sultan in the chart, that means six movies grossed £1m or more, which has happened only three times this year.

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