Box Office Wrap Up: House of Mouse Milestone!
Last weekend Disney strayed back onto familiar hunting grounds with its all animal cast animated romp, Zootopia. It quickly showed itself to be the alpha predator around these parts. Zootopia not only grabbed a huge 75 million dollars at the domestic box, it set the highest recorded weekend for a Disney animated film. Ever. Think about that, the best opening weekend for a feature length cartoon for a company that’s been making animated films since 1940 wasn’t a beloved fairy tale adaptation like Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast, or a tender family story like Dumbo or Bambi, but a slick CG stroll through a city full of critters doing the mundane chores of everyday life. While Disney seems to own March, most of their past success (with the exception of the Cinderella re-release in 2015) has come from their live action properties. Zootopia managed to not only rake it in big for the house of mouse, it also managed to crack the top 5 all time release totals in March. Not bad, non-human mammals in pants!
The other two wide releases managed to chart in the top five, with London Has Fallen taking second place on a 21 million dollar opening, and Tina Fey’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot slipping into fourth place at a shade higher than 7 million dollars. London seems to be the better positioned film, as its earnings are nearly identical to the take seen by its first outing, Olympus Has Fallen, which went on to triple its budget over the course of its domestic run. Gerard Butler seems safe from having two box office flops in the same month. Fey, on the other hand, will be lucky to break even at this point.
The third spot this week ended up going to Deadpool, who is still standing strong. His haul this week placed him over the 300 million dollar domestic mark, an enviable position for an R-Rated superhero film.
Next week’s releases may be playing for 3rd place, as they seem ill positioned to unseat a wildly popular animated film. 10 Cloverfield Lane is looking good, but will struggle to repeat the phenomenal 40 million plus opening of the original Cloverfield. Both films draped themselves in mystery, but the viral marketing campaign of the first film built a clamor, while the understated teaser trailers seen this time around may confuse many who were intrigued by the first film. Sacha Baron Cohen will be lucky to notch half of his early career success with his new project, The Brother’s Grimsby. Expect this spy spoof to finish up in the mid to low teens. The Young Messiah is sure to be a hit in the niche market of Christian viewers, but that market has been solidly in the high single digits category, and would be a miracle to cross into the 10 million plus range.