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'A Dog's Purpose' opens to $18.4 million amid controversy

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Dennis Quaid with a dog, voiced by Josh Gad, in a scene from "A Dog's Purpose." [Universal Pictures]

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Dennis Quaid with a dog, voiced by Josh Gad, in a scene from "A Dog's Purpose." [Universal Pictures]

LOS ANGELES — "A Dog's Purpose" has underperformed slightly at the box office as it opened in theaters amid controversy over animal treatment on set and calls for a boycott.

Based on early projections, the family film was expected to open in the mid $20-million range, but studio estimates Sunday indicated it took in $18.4 million for a second-place start.

Related: Video showing frightened dog on set of 'Dog's Purpose' sparks animal abuse accusation

Related: 'Dog's Purpose' not the first Hollywood animal abuse controversy

Yet it's hardly a bomb for a movie that cost only $22 million to produce.

First place went again to M. Night Shyamalan's multiple personality thriller "Split." It grossed $26.3 million, representing a 34 percent drop from its first weekend.

Rounding out the top five were "Hidden Figures" with $14 million, new opener "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" with $13.9 million, and "La La Land," which has now earned over $100 million.

'A Dog's Purpose' opens to $18.4 million amid controversy 01/29/17 [Last modified: Sunday, January 29, 2017 1:27pm]
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