By Chris Kavan - 03/13/16 at 10:44 PM CT
The animals have spoken... again and Zootopia had no problem holding off all the newcomers to once again claim the top spot at the box office. In fact, the competition wasn't even that spectacular with only one out of the four new films even able to break in to the top five. The out-of-left field 10 Cloverfield Lane was the only real winner among the new films while The Brothers Grimsby was the biggest loser when it came to the box office receipts. All told a disappointing weekend for most of the newcomers, but a decent weekend overall for Hollywood.
2) 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
Dan Trachtenberg and producer J.J. Abrams but this something-of-a-sequel to Cloverfield hit the right buzzy mark and brought in a decent audience to boot. Originally called simply The Cellar, 10 Cloverfield Lane is mainly a drama/mystery following Howard (John Goodman) a man with his own underground shelter as he rescues Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) from a car crash and along with Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), keeps them in his shelter/prison as he is adamant some kind of chemical attack has left the world above a dangerous place. All that mystery surrounding it led to some good reviews and a nice opening with a $25.2 million debut. That is almost the exact same debut that M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit opened with ($25.4 million) and should it play like that film, it's eyeing a $68 million total. The audience was mostly male (61%) and older (68% over 25) and they gave it a "B-" Cinemascore - which is still on the good side for a horror-esque title.While I didn't get to see this one yet, out of the new movies this year, this is on my must-see list - and I will avoid any and all spoilers, even if the film only has a tenuous link to the original Cloverfield.
4) LONDON HAS FALLEN
4) WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT
Outside the top five: There were three other wide-release debuts and the results ranged from okay to downright terrible. Up first the film that opened in the least amount of theaters among the newcomers has the second-best debut. The Perfect Match drew a $4.15 million debut (6th place) in just 925 theater and the third-best per-theater average (after Zootopia and 10 Cloverfield Lane) among the top 12 films with a $4,486 per-theater average. It's still the lowest opening for director Bille Woodruff' (Honey, Addicted) but considering the muted release and mixed reviews, the result is probably about the best that could have happened.
Coming in 7th place was the debut of The Young Messiah with a $3.4 million opening. That wasn't anywhere near the ballpark of Risen (which opened to $11.8 million) and it seems the life of a young Christ isn't as interesting as delving into the mystery of the missing body of Christ. The $18.5 million-budgeted film is probably going to stall out under the $10 million mark unless Easter audiences are willing to give this one another shot.
Finally, The Brothers Grimsby, the comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong, had to settle for 8th place with a very grim $3.15 million opening. Despite a desperate marketing campaign (some involving Donald Trump and AIDS) this generic comedy/crime caper never hit the mark, and the deluge of negative reviews couldn't have helped things. As it stands, it's the worst opening by far for Cohen and will end up his worst film overall by a large margin. I expect this one to exit quickly from theaters.
Next week brings us the final film in The Divergent Series: Allegiant as well as another religious-based film, Miracles from Heaven. We'll see how these two manage against Zootopia.