‘Dark Phoenix’ a Disaster and ‘Pets 2’ Disappoints, but ‘Rocketman’ Takes On ‘Godzilla’

We’ve seen a happy pattern in the early summer weeks as a handful of franchise titles soar: “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” and “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.” They’re doing solid work in cutting the 2019 deficit to around 6% and a little over $300 million.

Meanwhile, “The Secret Life of Pets 2” and “Dark Phoenix” opened below their predecessors.This tells us two stories: (1) The public is becoming more selective about their franchises but (2) as long as there’s sufficient volume of product, there’s hope for theaters even with films that drop in individual interest.“Drop” is a relative term.

“Pets 2” prevailed as top opener versus “Dark Phoenix,” which gives it bragging rights (the latter was projected to prevail).

It did well enough: The “Pets 2” opening is on par with its predecessor, Universal’s animation unit Illumination kept its production cost to $80 million, and with early international results (most major countries still

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