Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2” is heading for a North American opening of as much as $65 million during the June 7-9 frame, topping Disney-Fox’s “Dark Phoenix” at about $50 million, early tracking showed Thursday.

“The Secret Life of Pets” opened in 2016 with $104.3 million domestically and wound up with $368.3 million in North America and $875 million worldwide.

The voice cast of the Illumination film includes returnees Kevin Hart as Snowball, Chloe the tabby cat (Lake Bell) and Gidget the Pomeranian (Jenny Slate), as well as newcomers Daisy the Shih Tzu (Tiffany Haddish) and Rooster the sheepdog (Harrison Ford). Patton Oswalt replaces original star Louis C.K. as Max. Chris Renaud returns as the director, along with screenwriter Brian Lynch.

An opening in the expected range will makes “The Secret Life of Pets 2” one of the highest grossing animated openings since Illumination’s own “Dr. Suess’ The Grinch” with $67.6 million.

The most recent X-Men movie, Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Apocalypse,” opened with $65 million in its first three days and nearly $80 million over the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend in 2016.

Dark Phoenix,” starring “Game of Thrones’” Sophie Turner, was written and directed by Simon Kinberg, and stars an ensemble cast of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Jessica Chastain.

Amazon’s release of its Emma Thompson-Mindy Kaling comedy “Late Night” is also opening over the June 7-9 weekend with tracking under $10 million.

https://variety.com/2019/film/news/secret-life-of-pets-dark-phoenix-box-office-1203218248/