‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Finds a Good Friend at the Box Office

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Buddy the dog, voiced by Josh Gad, and Dennis Quaid in “A Dog’s Purpose.”

Credit
Joe Lederer/Universal Pictures

LOS ANGELES — An acrid campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against the movie “A Dog’s Purpose” ended up having more bark than bite.

The No. 1 movie in North American was again “Split” (Universal), which took in $26.4 million, for a two-week domestic total of about $78 million. But the feel-good family drama “A Dog’s Purpose,” which came under attack by PETA in recent weeks for what the animal rights group said was mistreatment of a German shepherd during filming, an accusation the filmmakers largely debunked, took in a solid $18.4 million, on par with results for other dog-themed movies over the years.

Directed by Lasse Hallstrom and based on W. Bruce Cameron’s best-selling novel of the same name, “A Dog’s Purpose” (Universal) cost about $22 million to make.

Theodore Melfi’s “Hidden Figures” (20th Century Fox) was third, riding three Oscar nominations, including one for best picture, to roughly $14 million in ticket sales, for a six-week total of $104 million, according to comScore, which compiles box office data.

Other films cashing in on best picture attention included the India-set adoption drama “Lion” (Weinstein), which drew six Oscar nominations in total. In its tenth weekend in theaters, “Lion” collected $2.4 million, for a new total of about $20 million. “Manchester by the Sea” (Roadside Attractions), also nominated for six Academy Awards, has taken in about $42 million — crossover territory. And “La La Land” (Lionsgate), with 14 nominations, surged to about $106.5 million in ticket sales.

Also of note: “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” (Sony), which cost about $40 million to make, arrived to an estimated $13.9 million, a low for that wildly successful six-film series. But the movie has already taken in an additional $65 million overseas.

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