The pets ran straight to the top again this weekend, leaving in their dust all other competition at the Box Office.

That's right, it was essentially a major upset this weekend as Secret Life of Pets remained at the top of the Box Office chart for a second weekend in a row. Despite taking a -51% hit in ticket sales between weekends #1 and #2, Secret Life still brought in a right-on-par $50.8 million domestically. Now, the fact that it took first, or the fact that it had yet another successful weekend all ways round, isn't actually why this weekend was an upset. The true reason why this was such an interesting turn of events for the Box Office is all to do with the spot number two movie this weekend, Sony Pictures Entertainment's reboot of Ghostbusters.

Opening in just shy of 4,000 theatres here in the states, the Paul Fig directed comedy starring Kristin Wig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon accumulated a disappointing $46 million, and only an additional $18 million in revenue internationally. With a production budget of $144 million, there's no doubt that Sony executives are upset that the film didn't perform better to the tune of $70-75 million domestically and $20-25 million internationally. It pains me to say this, but this means our brand new Ghostbusters is a flop.

Why is that? Well if you've been paying attention to any of the things we've been discussing the last couple weeks, or if you have been following the controversy surrounding this film specifically, you'll be quick to remember that there is a specific group of die hard original Ghostbuster fans that have been pitching a fit for months now that this is completely trashing the original film by replacing all four male ghostbusters with an all-star cast of female paranormal scientists and fighters. The core of this argument is complete, absurd stupidity. The only thing that needs to be noted about these four characters is that they are played by some of the funniest ACTORS - yes, I did say 'ACTORS' - in comedy right now. The concept that just because they happen to be female when the original was made up of four male characters is pure misogyny and the grounds on which these troll-fans make their claim, stating that this film and the casting decisions made are a mockery and disgrace to the characters of the original is nothing more than human crap - which seems to be falling out of the mouths every time the speak.

I could go on and on about this film and why it's getting such a bad wrap - currently it's scoring a 5.2/10 stars on IMDb and the critics at Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are giving it a 73-60% approval rating - but the truth of the matter is that this film wasn't made for all those fans of the classic 1980s Ghostbuster films. Sure, the 2016 reboot builds off of the nostalgia from the first two a bit, but this film was designed and created with young teenage girls in mind who need strong powerful female role models to look up to. And Paul Fig's vision for this film totally brought that to life. I laughed way harder at this film than I expected and left wanting to see it again immediately. It makes some subtle yet poignant statements about gender stereotypes in film, but it's not going to beat you over the head with them. It takes some classic ideas and gags and gives them new life and freshness for modern audiences. It throws a A-list cast together in a creative and fun plot. And more meta-oriented, it has us talking about how Hollywood treats female actors in the casting and filming process. This film is worth the watch just for those reasons alone.

Fun fact: Ghostbusters is currently scoring a A- on Cinemascore from moviegoers 25 and younger. Overall it has a B+ rating currently.

The other major newcomer which premiered this past weekend at theatres across the country was Broad Green's The Infiltrator, starring Bryan Cranston. Now, if you thought Ghostbusters was a flop, oh man, The Infiltrator was far worse. With a production budget of $47.5 million the film opened to $5 million domestically. Just over a tenth of what it took to make. Despite having better critic and audience feedback than Ghostbusters did, this action based flix has underperformed in almost every sense of the word. Being the only fast-paced, hard-edged R-rated drama to release in the last several weeks, this film should have easily performed a solid $15-$20 million better than it did, if not even more. All in all this one's going to be hard to recover from for Broad Green as the chances of it picking up little to any steam in the coming weeks is unlikely.

Which brings us to this coming weekend with two major films hitting theatres nationwide - Star Trek Beyond and Ice Age: Collision Course. Early reviews of Star Trek have been painting the film in some great light and the chances are high that the film will gross at least $75 million opening weekend. Even if it underperforms that by $10-15 million, that should still secure it the top of the Box Office as Ice Age isn't predicted to gross more than $50-60 million the same weekend. With that in mind I'm predicting a top 5 that looks something similar to this:

  1. Star Trek Beyond
  2. Ice Age: Collision Course
  3. Secret Life of Pets
  4. Ghostbusters
  5. The Legend of Tarzan

So, this weekend make sure you grab a friend, head to your favorite local theatre, and catch a film so you can be part of the conversation. We're lucky right now because there's a little something for everyone at the Box Office this summer. Till next time friends!

-Matthew Miller

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