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Weekend Box Office: Zootopia Stampedes Over Allegiant, Miracles Debuts Strong

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 03/20/16 at 07:15 PM CT

The big question going in to this weekend was how the third film in the Divergent series was going to play out. Turns out that fan support is quickly eroding, which meant clear sailing for Zootopia which had little problem in taking the first place spot for the third straight weekend. All in all, the grosses were just slightly down from this weekend last year, but thanks in most part to Zootopia, it was a decent March outing for Hollywood.

1) ZOOTOPIA

Disney's animated Juggernaut shows little signs of slowing down as the film one again took the top spot with a $38 million showing - a drop of a mere 28% over last weekend - and new total that just tops the $200 million mark with $201.8 million. That makes it the third-best domestic total for any Walt Disney animated film and it will soon catch up to Big Hero 6 ($222 million). Worldwide, the film sits at a cool $591.7 million - just behind Tangled at $591.8 million With the film showing little signs of slowing down, it is quite possible it will make it to $300 million domestically with a shot at $1 billion on the global scale - depending on how it holds up against the tent-pole pictures in the coming months. I was expecting this to do pretty good in theaters, but I have to say it's doing much better than I expected and I suspect it's not going away anytime soon.

2) THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT

The first two films in the Divergent series both opened to above the $52 million mark but it seems this third entry has suffered major franchise fatigue and may spell trouble for the finale set for a 2017 release. The Divergent Series: Allegiant could only must a $29.1 million debut - or 46% below the opening of Divergent back in 2014. Now the film is going to have to bank on the international help that Insurgent got last year and pray that it does better overseas. It's looking at maybe a $75 million total domestically - but it's trailing in that department as well with only $53.4 million from foreign markets thus far. Still, there is going to be a final film in this franchise - but maybe they would have been better served keeping it down to one. We won't know for sure until we see the final numbers for Allegiant, but if the opening is any indication, the franchise is headed for some choppy waters and might not recover.

3) MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN

Proving that faith-based films are still good at bringing in a solid audience when the material is on the money, Miracles from Heaven hit the mark with a $15 million opening. That was ahead of most estimates (including the studio) and, with just a $13 million budget, it already looking like a winner for Sony. The film brings a more affirmative message for Christianity than the persecution complex from the likes of God's Not Dead, and the mostly positive reviews helped it along. Should the film have legs enough to get to $58 million (a big if, but it could happen), it would be the highest-grossing star vehicle for Jennifer Garner, topping $57.2 million of 13 Going on 30. Whether or not it hits that mark, the film reaffirms that marketing a faith-based film to audiences can still result in big results. I often scoff at this genre, but the truth is it is one of the best when it comes to cost vs. returns and while not every faith-based film is a winner, with results like these, I don't see why we aren't going to see plenty more in the future.

4) 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

I finally got around to seeing this claustrophobic mystery/thriller and I have to say that overall I was quite happy with the results. Dipping just under 50% in its second weekend (not a bad hold for this type of film) 10 Cloverfield Lane landed in the fourth spot with $12.5 million. That gives the film a new total of $45.1 million, tracking just ahead of The Visit and looking at a total around the $65 million mark. It will certainly top its $58 million budget (it will need a bit more to cover the stealth marketing costs - but international numbers should help make up for that). All in all, for such a tight, tense film, not a bad result at all.

5) DEADPOOL

Everyone's favorite R-rated superhero continues to chug along - and continues to climb the superhero charts along the way. With an $8 million weekend (down 27%), Deadpool's new total of $340.9 million moves it up to eight place on the all-time superhero list - surpassing Guardians of the Galaxy ($333.1 million) and Spider-Man 3 ($336.5 million). The film clearly has $350 million in its sights (as well as American Sniper's $350.1 million second-place R-rated record). Although that is probably the last domestic record it will topple as it starts to lose more and more theaters (especially with Batman v Superman just around the corner). Granted, this R-rated smash is going to linger long into the year as I think it will still be one of the top five movies (or nearly at least) even we march towards 2017.

Outside the top five: The Bronze was supposed to open on limited release, but it was shifted to over 1000 theaters (hence its exclusion from the weekend box office blog) and that was a big mistake. Having been in limbo for some time following the collapse of Relativity, Sony Classics finally released the comedy in 1,1667 theaters where is premiered outside the top 20 all the way down in 22nd place with a scary-bad $421,434. That's the fifth-worst total for any film opening in 1000+ theaters - the 14th worst opening of all time and 9th-worst per-theater average ($361-per theater) for any film in wide release. I doubt we'll be hearing any more from this one as is slinks right on out of theaters.

In better limited-release news, Midnight Special opened in five theater with a $184,000 total and a nice $36,800-per-theater average. The sci-fi drama looks to go wide in April, so hopefully some trailers (and this bit of good news) will help it along to a decent opening for general audiences.

Next week brings us the blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is looking to take the March opening record away from The Hunger Games ($152.5 million). We'll also get the romantic comedy sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.

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