“Max” Movie: A Hit or a Dog?

As of July 5, “Max,” the year’s most widely anticipated dog movie, was holding its own at the box office, racking up $25,349,000 in domestic grosses after 10 days in release. The modestly budgeted film tells the story of a Marine Corps Belgian Malinois K-9 who’s traumatized by his handler’s death in Afghanistan and comes to live with the man’s parents and kid brother.

Here’s a clip:


“Max” did not fare well with critics, rating a mere 38% Rotten Tomatoes score, but audiences seem pleased enough with the three-hanky canine tearjerker, giving it a healthy 75% on the Tomatometer. The Warners/MGM release is performing best with all audiences under age 18 and with women over 25, and doing especially well in Southern and Midwestern theaters, reports Deadline Hollywood (http://deadline.com/).

It’s too early to tell if “Max” will ultimately fetch the big box-office bucks or turn out to be, as they say in the biz, a dog. In the meantime, to provide some context, here’s the list of:

Hollywood’s all-time top 10 highest-grossing* dog movies:

1. Scooby-Doo (2002) $153,294,164

2. Marley and Me (2008) $143,153,751

3. 101 Dalmatians (1996) $136,189,294

4. Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014) $111,506,430

5. Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) $94,514,402

6. Cats & Dogs (2001) $93,385,515

7. Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) $84,216,833

8. Eight Below (2006) $81,612,565

9. Snow Dogs (2002) $81,172,560

10. Hotel for Dogs (2009) $73,034,460

*U.S. domestic grosses, compiled by boxofficemojo.com


101 Dalmatians, Marley and Me, and Hotel for Dogs all racked up higher U.S. grosses than their year’s Best Picture Oscar winner (The English Patient, Slumdog Millionaire, and The Hurt Locker, respectively) …

Director Raja Gosnell has three films in the top 10:

both Scooby Doo movies and Beverley Hills Chihuahua …

Just missing the list was Turner & Hooch, with a gross of $71,079,915;

Tom Hanks says it would have made more money if... 
the dog had not died …

Owen Wilson, star of Marley and Me, voiced the title Great Dane in Marmaduke …

It took 250 Dalmatians to make 101 Dalmatians …

Several of the same sled dogs appear in Eight Below and Snow Dogs …

At various times in the project’s history, Robert Downey Jr. and Stephen Colbert were announced as the voice Mr. Peabody; the role finally went to Ty Burrell of Modern Family …

Snow Dogs advertising tagline: “Get Ready for Mush Hour!”