Weekend Wrap-Up

Cloverfield Hits, Grimsby Flops, Zootopia Rules

By John Hamann

March 13, 2016

Don't patronize the bunny.

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If it weren’t for furry rabbits and a maybe-rabid John Goodman, the box office would be going down in some serious flames.

It is a Jekyll and Hyde session at the box office this weekend, as four new openers contain more losers than winners. All four get to tangle with record breaker Zootopia, which found $75.1 million over three days in the previous frame. Openers stayed wisely away from the kid demo, and include The Brothers Grimsby, Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest; The Young Messiah, the latest faith-based film; The Perfect Match, an urban rom-com; and the JJ Abrams-produced 10 Cloverfield Lane, a spiritual sequel to the 2008 found footage monster movie Cloverfield. This batch of films has the pedigree to do quite well; however, three out these four films failed to earn $5 million. Who’s the beneficiary of all that flopping around? Batman v Superman, despite being a couple of weekends away.

Our number one film at the box office is Disney’s Zootopia, as it dominates for the second straight frame. After absolutely slaying it last weekend to the tune of $75.1 million, Zootopia used its A Cinemascore to hold better than the already healthy projections indicated. On its second Friday, Zootopia earned $12 million, off only 38% from its opening day. This is a remarkable hold, as Zootopia’s first Friday also contained $1.7 million from Thursday previews. That makes the true Friday comparison equal to a tiny drop of only 32.5%. Comparatively, The Lorax, which opened to $70.2 million, dropped 45% between first and second Fridays. Ice Age 2, another March opener, dropped 65% between Fridays.


The Friday hold could indicate very good news for Zootopia. It could mean that it’s crossing over somewhat to adults, and making the later Friday screenings more popular. The Friday is the reason for the strong weekend hold, as Zootopia earned another $50 million over the weekend, dropping only 33% compared to that massive opening weekend. Examples of second weekend drops from animated blockbusters include Inside Out falling 42% after opening to $90 million; Despicable Me 2 falling 47% after opening to $83.5 million; The Incredibles falling 29% after opening to $70.5 million; The Lego Movie 28% after $69.1 million; and finally Up, which held at 35% after opening to $68.1 million. You can see that Zootopia compares best with The Incredibles, The Lego Movie and Up, three films that enjoyed that crossover business to adults.

Pulling these three films out and looking at their opening weekend to total domestic gross multiplier, we see Up at 4.3, The Incredibles at 3.7 and The Lego Movie at 3.73, for an average of 3.91. Should Zootopia match that average, it would mean a $293 million domestic finish for the Disney flick. It is definitely on its way to the top end of that average, as it crossed the $100 million mark on its seventh day, and now sits with a domestic total of $142.6 million. Overseas, Zootopia brought its total up to $288.7 million, making it the third true blockbuster we’ve seen so far this year.

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