Talking Animals Trample London
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
March 6, 2016
Zootopia got off to a terrific start, grossing $19.5 million on Friday, $1.7 million of which came from Thursday sneaks. On Saturday, it spiked 62 percent to $31.6 million. That’s a significant number since it is better than Frozen’s best day, $26.8 million, and you should keep in mind that Frozen benefitted from Thanksgiving box office inflation. Zootopia debuted on a random weekend in early March. There’s cause to believe that the film is, if anything, underestimated this weekend. Disney is currently projecting $22.6 million on Sunday. Whatever the total is, it’ll wind up comfortably ahead of Frozen’s $67.4 million debut. Internationally, the news is equally sunny for Zootopia. It grossed another $158.8 million abroad, bringing its opening weekend global take to $232.5 million.
Back in March of 2013, Olympus Has Fallen became the first of two “White House Under Attack” films to be released that year. Featuring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman, the film debuted with $30.4 million and went on to make just short of $100 million domestically. With an additional $62.1 million from overseas venues, it managed to cross the $150 million worldwide plateau versus its $70 million budget, a total that is apparently good enough to merit a sequel.
At that time, FilmDistrict was responsible for Olympus Has Fallen’s release, but that studio is now defunct and rolled up into Focus Features. That means Focus took on the release of the newest film in the series, London Has Fallen, which brings back Butler, Eckhart and Freeman and apparently expands the terror to a global scale. It is our second place finisher this week, coming in well short of the $30 million the original film earned during its debut weekend.
After starting with a muted $7.6 million on Friday, London Has Fallen finished the weekend with a total of $21.7 million. That’s 29 percent off the opening weekend for Olympus Has Fallen, and a sure indicator that it will be in for a significantly lower overall domestic gross as well. Word-of-mouth is mixed at best, with reviews at Rotten Tomatoes coming in at just 26 percent (27 out of 105 critics gave the film a positive review). The news is better on the Cinemascore front, as London Has Fallen received an A- from opening night viewers. Unfortunately, with direct demographic competition in films like 10 Cloverfield Lane and Batman v Superman coming up, London Has Fallen doesn’t have a lot of hope for the long haul. The budget was just $60 million, so it may at least break even despite the somewhat disappointing result.
Third place, then, goes to Deadpool, which finally slides out of the top spot after three dominant weekends. With a weekend take of $16.4 million, the R-rated superhero film declined 47 percent from the previous frame. The big news for the weekend is that Deadpool crossed the $300 million mark with $311.2 million, moving it into 48th place on the all-time domestic box office list, ahead of such films as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. It remains in the number three spot for all-time domestic gross for R-rated films. Deadpool’s international take is slightly outpacing its domestic total, meaning that its worldwide take sits close to $650 million.