Is that too many doggone dog movies? Maybe. That could be why A Dog's Journey had the lowest opening of the trio. Or it could just purely be from too much other competition.
A Dog's Journey just opened to $8 million, putting it in 4th place on the weekend box office chart, behind John Wick 3, Avengers: Endgame, and Detective Pikachu.
That $8 million debut is significantly less than the $18.2 million A Dog's Purpose made in its January 2017 opening weekend. A Dog's Way Home also had a higher debut, making $11.2 million in January 2019.
A Dog's Purpose opened amid controversy after set footage emerged showing a German Shepherd being dragged into rushing water. Josh Gad, who voiced the dogs in the movie, said he was "shaken and sad" to see any animal forced into a situation against its will. The film's Los Angeles premiere was cancelled. But the film went on to make $64.5 million at the domestic box office and $140.5 million worldwide, off a $22 production budget, per Box Office Mojo.
Josh Gad returned for the sequel A Dog's Journey, along with Dennis Quaid as Ethan Montgomery. That film just doesn't seem to be on track for the same box office success as A Dog's Purpose. Why not? Possibly because A Dog's Way Home just came out in January and made $42 million at the domestic box office, and $34 million overseas. Or maybe fans were just too interested in seeing Avengers: Endgame again, or Detective Pikachu.
Critics didn't care much for A Dog's Journey, giving it a 49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But the same is true for A Dog's Purpose, which got an even lower 34% rating from critics, but a 73% Audience Score from fans. A Dog's Journey got an even higher boost with a whopping 95% RT Audience Score, and an A CinemaScore from polled moviegoers. A Dog's Purpose also got an A CinemaScore, with A Dog's Way Home getting an A-.
So the fans who saw A Dog's Journey seemed to love it, there just haven't been that many fans heading out to see it yet. Memorial Day weekend is coming up, though, so maybe some parents are just waiting until the kids have more time off. But The Secret Life of Pets 2 is coming soon to steal family time and pet-loving attention, so A Dog's Journey needs to hurry up and find an audience or it'll be stuck in the box office dog house.