The Secret Life of Pets 2

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The Secret Life of Pets 2
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Final Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChris Renaud
Written byBrian Lynch
Produced by
Edited byTiffany Hillkurtz
Music byAlexandre Desplat[1]
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[2]
Release dates
  • May 24, 2019 (2019-05-24) (United Kingdom)
  • June 7, 2019 (2019-06-07) (United States)
Running time
86 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$80 million[4]
Box office$431 million[4][5]

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a 2019 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Illumination, directed by Chris Renaud, co-directed by Jonathan del Val, and written by Brian Lynch. It is the sequel to The Secret Life of Pets, and the second feature film in the franchise. The film features the voices of Patton Oswalt (replacing Louis C.K.) as Max, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Renaud, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, and Harrison Ford.

The film was theatrically released in the United States on June 7, 2019, by Universal Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $446 million worldwide against its production budget of $80 million, making less than half of its predecessor.[4]


Sometime after the events of the first film, Max and Duke's owner, Katie, meets and marries a man named Chuck and they have a son, named Liam, of whom Max disapproves at first due to his rough play but eventually softens up to him. Later, Max's overprotective feelings for Liam develop into an itch which prompts Katie to get him a dog cone from the veterinarian in an effort to lower his symptoms. Max's luck changes when Duke reveals that the family is going on a road trip outside of the city.

When Max and Duke's family reaches a farm owned by Chuck's uncle, Shep, Max is unaccustomed to the farm's ways; including local Welsh Sheepdog Rooster, who tells him to get over his insecurities about Liam and ditch the dog cone. After an incident with the farm's sheep, Rooster takes Max out to find Cotton, one of the missing sheep that ran away. Rooster's teachings and encouragement to Max about acting unafraid prompts Max to successfully retrieve Cotton off a falling tree, earning Rooster's respect.

Before Max left, he had entrusted his favorite toy, Busy Bee, to Gidget. However, Gidget loses Busy Bee in a cat-infested apartment owned by a cat lady. She receives cat lessons from Chloe, Mel, Buddy, and Sweet Pea in order to sneak into the apartment more easily. Then, with Norman's help, she successfully retrieves Busy Bee and unintentionally gets hailed as the "queen of cats" in the process.

Meanwhile, Snowball, who dreams of being a superhero, meets Shih Tzu Daisy, who explains that she needs him to assist her in rescuing Hu, a white tiger cub she met on a flight, who is being held captive by an abusive circus owner known as Sergei. Daisy and Snowball sneak into the circus, and in spite of Sergei's pack of black wolves, they free Hu. However, during the escape, Daisy loses her flower clip, which the wolves use to track her down later.

Daisy and Snowball take Hu to Pops' apartment first; Pops reluctantly lets Hu live there, but due to his destruction of the apartment afterwards, Hu is kicked out and relocated to Max and Duke's apartment. Around the same time, the family returns from the trip to the farm. Sergei and his wolves track Daisy down and capture Hu and Daisy, in order to use her as a cannonball for his circus. Sergei escapes in a circus train in which Snowball, Max, and Norman pursue while contacting Gidget for assistance in the chase. Gidget, Max's friends, and the cats take their owner off in her car, in pursuit of the train.

Max takes out the wolves and Snowball fires Sergei's pet monkey out of a cannon, while freeing Daisy. The monkey lands on Max, knocking him off the train. Max, using his newfound bravery Rooster gave him, successfully jumps back onto the train from the top of a tunnel. The rest of the animals free Hu and kick Sergei out of the train. Before they can escape, Sergei stops them and plans to kill them all using a gun. Gidget and the rest of the pets knock him out with the cat lady's car and offer the animals a ride back home. Life resumes normally, with Hu finding a new home with the cat lady, and Max sending Liam off to preschool, no longer worried for him.

Voice cast[edit]

Harrison Ford joins the cast as the voice of Rooster.[6]


Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment announced a sequel to their animated film The Secret Life of Pets in August 2016 with director Chris Renaud and writer Brian Lynch returning,[10] and Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy producing.[11] The Oatmeal writer Matthew Inman worked on the film as a creative consultant.[12]

Louis C.K. did not reprise his role as Max after being accused of and later admitting to sexual misconduct with several women in November 2017.[13] Patton Oswalt replaced C.K. as Max the following year in April, while Hart, Stonestreet, Slate, Kemper, Bell, Carvey, Buress, and Moynihan reprised their roles. Additional casting includes Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, Harrison Ford and Pete Holmes.[14]


Alexandre Desplat, who composed the score of the first film, returned for the sequel.[1] The soundtrack was released by Back Lot Music on May 31, 2019, featuring two cover versions of Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" and Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard". The songs were performed by LunchMoney Lewis, Aminé, and Jack Antonoff.[15]


Kevin Hart at the film's Australian premiere.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 was released in the United States on June 7, 2019 by Universal Pictures.[16] It was previously set for a July 13, 2018 release,[10] and then July 3, 2019.[11] The film was released in the United Kingdom two weeks earlier on May 24.[17]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on digital on August 13, 2019 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, with Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD releases following on August 27. It includes two mini-movies: Super Gidget, and Minion Scouts.[18] The 4K Ultra HD version was also Universal's first release to use the HDR10+ format.[19]


Box office[edit]

The Secret Life of Pets 2 grossed $158.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $287.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $446.3 million, against a production budget of $80 million.[4][5] Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $118 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.[20]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Dark Phoenix, and was initially projected to gross around $60 million in its opening weekend. The film played in 4,561 theaters, the second-widest release ever at the time.[21] After making $17.4 million on its first day (including $2.2 million from Thursday night previews, down from the first film's $5.3 million), estimates were lowered to $46 million. It went on to debut to $46.7 million, less than half the opening of the first film, but still finishing first at the weekend box office.[22][23] In its second weekend, the film made $24.4 million, finishing second behind newcomer Men in Black: International,[24] and then made $10.3 million in its third weekend, finishing in fifth place.[25]

In the United Kingdom, the film debuted to $4.1 million from 613 theaters on the May 24 weekend.[26] A week later, the film expanded to Russia and added a combined $17.2 million from the two countries.[27]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 60% based on 164 reviews with an average rating of 5.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "The Secret Life of Pets 2 doesn't teach its animated stars any new narrative tricks -- but for fans of the original, this funny, energetic sequel should still satisfy."[28] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[29] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, the same score as the first film, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 4.5 out of 5 stars.[22]

Courtney Howard of Variety magazine wrote: "It's unusual for a typical Illumination broad comedy to include a heartrending message that makes parents feel less alone in their very real, visceral struggles. It's just cloaked in a shenanigans-soaked romp about what pets do when humans aren't looking."[30] James Berardinelli gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars but called the film "a perfect example of what can happen when a sequel exists simply because its predecessor made a lot of money". He called it "a disappointingly mediocre effort that doesn't have a lot to offer potential viewers over age 10" saying it was unfocused and "essentially three separate shorts connected only by the presence of returning characters".[31]

Emily Davison of UK Film Review called it "a much more enjoyable outing" and said the "voice cast is also strong all around".[32]


In June 2022, in an interview on the podcast The Gary and Kenny Show, Meledandri stated that a third film is in development.[33]


  1. ^ a b "Alexandre Desplat to Return for 'The Secret Life of Pets 2' - Film Music Reporter".
  2. ^ a b "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2". British Board of Film Classification.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  6. ^ Truitt, Brian (June 5, 2019). "Harrison Ford is cool with being a dog in 'The Secret Life of Pets 2': 'I don't like cats'". USA Today. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  7. ^ Verniere, James (June 6, 2019). "'Secret Life of Pets 2' is near purr-fect". Boston Herald. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Meredith Salenger [@MeredthSalenger] (April 11, 2019). "I hope so!!!!!!! I'm used to voicing cute young things! The little ol' lady was a first for me! Thank you!!!!!!! Xoxoxoxox" (Tweet). Retrieved December 24, 2019 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Brian Lynch [@BrianLynch] (May 28, 2019). "#TheSecretLifeOfPets2 Fun Fact: The Hamster at the pet therapist who is frustrated that running in his wheel doesn't actually GET HIM ANYWHERE is a joke I've had in my head for about 20 years. And he's voiced by SING/SON OF RAMBOW/HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE director Garth Jennings" (Tweet). Retrieved December 24, 2019 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ a b McNary, Dave (August 2, 2016). "'Secret Life of Pets 2' in the Works, Set for 2018 Release". Variety. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Minions 2 and Sing 2 Announced, Pets 2 Pushed Back a Year". January 25, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  12. ^ "The Secret Life of Matt".
  13. ^ Busch, Anita (November 10, 2017). "Universal Pictures, Illumination Parts Ways With Louis C.K. On 'Secret Life Of Pets 2'". Deadline. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  14. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 25, 2018). "Harrison Ford Takes First Animated Role, In Illumination's 'The Secret Life Of Pets 2'". Deadline. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  15. ^ "The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Alexandre Desplat". May 31, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 15, 2017). "'The Secret Life Of Pets 2' Will Be Unleashed A Month Earlier". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  17. ^ "'The Secret Life of Pets 2' In UK Cinemas 27 May 2019". November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  18. ^ "'The Secret Life of Pets 2' Coming to Digital Aug. 13, Disc Aug. 27 From Universal". Archived from the original on August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  19. ^ Archer, John (July 17, 2019). "HDR Format War Update: Now Universal Goes Dual Format Too". Forbes. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 17, 2020). "'The Secret Life Of Pets 2' Meows Moola At No. 14 On Deadline's 2019 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  21. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (June 4, 2019). "'Secret Life of Pets 2' and 'Dark Phoenix' Vie for Top Spot in Crowded Box Office". TheWrap. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Anthony D'Alessandro (June 9, 2019). "Sequelitis Scorches Franchises To Box Office Lows: 'Secret Life Of Pets 2' $46M+, 'Dark Phoenix' Burnt To A Crisp With $33M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  23. ^ Hailey Waller (June 9, 2019). "'Secret Life of Pets 2' Tops Poorly Received 'Dark Phoenix'". Bloomberg News. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  24. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 16, 2019). "'Men In Black: International' Domestic Passport Revoked With $26M Opening, 'Shaft' Drops His Gun With $7M+: Summer Sequelitis, Here We Go Again". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  25. ^ "'Toy Story 4' $121 Million Debut Falls Short of Estimates". Bloomberg. June 23, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  26. ^ Nancy Tartaglione (May 28, 2019). "'Aladdin' Takes Princely $207M Global Bow; 'Rocketman' Blasts Off In UK – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  27. ^ Nancy Tartaglione (June 2, 2019). "'Godzilla: King Of The Monsters' '$130M Overseas Bow Is #1, But Not Royal; 'Aladdin' Still A Prince & 'Rocketman' Electric – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  28. ^ "The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  29. ^ "The Secret Life of Pets 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  30. ^ Howard, Courtney (May 23, 2019). "Film Review: 'The Secret Life of Pets 2'". Variety.
  31. ^ Berardinelli, James (June 7, 2019). "Secret Life of Pets 2, The". Reelviews Movie Reviews.
  32. ^ Davison, Emily (May 30, 2021). "The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Film Review".
  33. ^ "The Not Despicable Producer of Despicable Me". The Gary and Kenny Show (Podcast). Retrieved September 16, 2022.{{cite podcast}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]