The animated sequel had been forecast to open with around $50 million. Instead, it debuted with about half the $69 million the 2014 original did, despite good reviews and an A-minus CinemaScore.
In second was “What Men What,” starring Taraji P. Henson in a loose remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson comedy. It opened with $19 million.
The Liam Neeson thriller “Cold Pursuit” debuted with $10.8 million. Earlier in the week, Neeson drew heavy criticism after he acknowledged wanting to kill a random black person when a close friend told him she had been raped by a black man.