Disney’s animated Zootopia knocked Deadpool from his three-week perch with a $73.7 million debut, the best bow ever for a Disney animated movie and the best March opening ever for an animated film. Aided by two other new wide releases, Zootopia boosted the box office to an estimated 76% gain over the same frame last year when Neill (District 9) Blomkamp’s robot saga Chappie debuted with $13.3 million.

Zootopia’s sterling debut, which is better than any non-Pixar Disney animated release, even topped the opening of Frozen ($67.5 million over the 3-day Thanksgiving weekend back in 2013).  Zootopia’s debut now ranks #9 all-time for an animated film, though when those numbers are adjusted for inflation it slips to a still respectable #20.  The box office future of Zootopia appears bright thanks to fantastic reviews (98% positive on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes), and an “A” CInemaScore from opening weekend audiences that were 53% female, 73% families, 21% adults, 6% teens, 34% 12 and under, 11% 17-25, 21% 26-34, 17% 35-49, and 8% over 50.  With very little in the way of direct competition over the next month Zootopia is set for solid run.  Though it will have a tough time matching Frozen’s theatrical longevity, it is clear that Disney has another hit on its hands.

Overseas where Zootopia opened (in some territories) last weekend the film earned $63.4 million this weekend for a 10-day total of $158.8 million and a worldwide cumulative of $232.5 million.  Along with Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Frozen (2013), and Big Hero Six (2014) Disney has now spawned four animated hits (and potential franchises) in a row.

London Has Fallen, a sequel of sorts to 2013’s Die Hard-in-the-White-House Olympus Has Fallen, came in below expectations (and well below Olympus’ $30.4 million), but the film still earned $21.7 million, and has some decent prospects overseas.  The “R” rated action film genre often provides examples of the disconnect between the opinions of critics and moviegoers, and London Has Fallen is a case in point.  Critics savaged the film giving it just a 25% positive rating, but audiences, which was predominantly male (60%) and older (76% over 25).

Meanwhile Deadpool became only the third “R” rated movie to cross the $300 million mark as it earned $16.4 million, just a 47% drop.  The Merc with Mouth saga has now passed the inflation-adjusted domestic total of X2: X-Men United and will quickly move past X-Men: The Last Stand to become the highest-grossing X-Men film in North America, even when ticket price inflation is taken into account.  Deadpool has also passed the $302 million inflation-adjusted total of Man of Steel.  So far the worldwide total for Deadpool is $673.2 million, which means the Merc with a mouth still has some major box office work to do to match X-Men: Days of Future Past’s global total of $747.9 million (Future Past earned just $233.9 million in North America, but took in a whopping $513.9 million overseas).

Weekend Box Office (Studio Estimates): March 4-6, 2016


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London Has Fallen














Whiskey Tango Foxtrot







Gods of Egypt














Kung Fu Panda







The Revenant







Eddie the Eagle







The Witch







Fourth place went to another new film, the Tina Fey-starring comedy/drama Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which loosely recounts the adventures of Afghan war correspondent Kim Barker.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot earned a disappointing $7.7 million, making it one of the lowest openings for any Tina Fey film save the 2013 dramedy Admission, which earned just $6.2 million in its March debut.  With mixed reviews (60% positive on Rotten Tomatoes) and a mediocre “B” CinemaScore from an audience that skewed female (56%) and older (89% over 25), the future looks bleak for a film that was not helped by an ad campaign filled with strained attempts at humor.

Lionsgate’s action fantasy Gods of Egypt certified its “bomb” status in its second weekend with a 65% drop from its disappointing opening.  With a ten-day total of just $22.8 million, this $140 million production is in real trouble (though Lionsgate’s exposure is limited).  Two other underperformers that opened last week also dropped.  The sports biography Eddie the Eagle slipped 49% from its pitiful opening and landed in ninth place, while the “R” rated crime drama Triple 9 tumbled 65.2% and plummeted out of the top ten in just ten days.

Be sure and check back here next week and see what happens to a trio of wide releases that includes the hostage drama 10 Cloverfield Lane, the “R” rated Sacha Baron Cohen spy comedy The Brothers Grimsby, and the religiously-themed The Young Messiah.