Disney’s Zootopia opened with an estimated $19.4 million from 3,827 yesterday, including $1.7 million from Thursday p.m. previews. That number is significant because it suggests that the PG-rated animated pic will claim a couple of box office records this weekend: highest March animated opening and biggest opening ever for an animated Disney film (aside from Pixar features, of course). The well-reviewed Zootopia should also become one of the top five March releases of all time, though still far below the $152.5 million that The Hunger Games boasts as the all-time March champion.
The current record for the biggest animated March debut belongs to Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, which earned $70.2 million on this same frame in 2012. On its first Friday, The Lorax earned $17.5 million, which suggests that Zootopia is in line for about $73 million through Sunday. That number is a bit more than box office analysts were expecting and far exceeds Disney’s low-ball projection of $60 million. Zootopia’s Friday estimate also exceeds the opening days of 2014’s The LEGO Movie ($17 million) and Big Hero 6 ($15.8 million).
Zootopia is also sure to set a new opening record for a Disney animated release. When Pixar titles are taken out of the equation, the studio’s highest animated debut is Frozen with $67.3 million. It should be noted, however, that Frozen opened on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving rather than a Friday in March. While $73 million would be a great start for Zootopia, no one is suggesting the film is on its way to the box office heights of Frozen.
London Has Fallen opened in second place on Friday with an estimated $7.59 million. The film is the sequel to the surprise hit Olympus Has Fallen, which opened with $30.3 million in March 2013. London Has Fallen was not expected to hit the same level as its predecessor, so its current weekend of projection of $21 million seems about right.
After 21 consecutive days on top of the box office, Deadpool fell to third on Friday. The R-rated superhero pic also fell a bit short of crossing the $300 million mark yesterday, though it should reach $312 million through Sunday. That will make Deadpool only the third R-rated release ever to earn over $300 million domestically, after The Passion of the Christ ($370.7 million) and American Sniper ($350.1 million).
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot opened in fourth place with an estimated $2.4 million from 2,374 locations. Paramount was hoping their political comedy, starring Tina Fey, would reach at least $10 million this weekend, but it looks like $7 million will be its limit. That’s a bit more than the $6.1 million that Admission (starring Fey and Paul Rudd) earned on its debut frame in March 2013. But because Admission topped out with just $18 million and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot reportedly cost $35 million, that’s far from an encouraging comparison. We’ll have full details on the weekend box office tomorrow.
Here’s Friday’s top five films:
|2.||London Has Fallen||$7,591,000||$7.59|
|4.||Whiskey Tango Foxtrot||$2,434,000||$2.4|
|5.||Gods of Egypt||$1,340,000||$19.1|