‘Zootopia’ Devours Record $73.7 Million in Box Office Win

Disney’s animated tale tramples fellow newcomers “London Has Fallen” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”

“Zootopia,” the latest animated feature from Disney, opened to a huge $73.7 million this weekend, easily beating competition from fellow freshman flicks “London Has Fallen” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” and scoring a sweet record in the process, according to Sunday’s estimates.

That sum was enough to give “Zootopia” the best debut gross in the history of Disney Animation, topping the $67.4 million that “Frozen” banked on its initial wide weekend in November 2013. (“Toy Story 3,” from Disney’s Pixar unit, remains the company’s top animated opener; it premiered with $110.3 million in 2010.)

The talking-animal film’s huge total was also enough to propel it far past its rival openers.

Gerard Butler‘s R-rated action sequel “London Has Fallen” exceeded expectations but came in a distant second, with $21.7 million for Focus Features. It was tracking to earn between $18 million and $20 million. Its predecessor, “Olympus Has Fallen,” opened to $30.4 million two years ago.

Paramount’s Tina Fey wartime dramedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” underperformed with $7.6 million at No. 4, well under its expected $10 million to $12 million opening gross. That was barely half the first-weekend gross of Fey’s most recent comedy, “Sisters,” which bowed with $13.9 million last December.

Meanwhile, reigning three-time champ “Deadpool” fell to No. 3, with $16.4 million. Still, 20th Century Fox’s R-rated superhero film soared past the $300 million mark; its four-week tally now stands at $311.2 million.

And the other big-budget Gerard Butler movie currently in multiplexes, “Gods of Egypt” (No. 5), from Lionsgate, grossed roughly $5 million to bring its disappointing 10-day total to just $22.6 million.

Other second-weekend films included “Eddie the Eagle,” which came in at No. 9, with $3.1 million for 20th Century Fox, and Open Road’s “Triple 9,” which fell outside the Top 10, with $2.1 million.

Further down the chart, recently anointed Best Picture winner “Spotlight” brought in a healthy $1.8 million after adding 542 screens following its Oscar triumph last Sunday. The Open Road drama’s 18-week haul now stands at $41.6 million.

The unheralded horror flick “The Other Side of the Door” scared up a slight $1.2 million in its first weekend for 20th Century Fox.

And the newest Terrence Malick film, “Knight of Cups,” from Broad Green, opened in very limited release, earning $56,688 in four locations — a so-so $14,172 per-theater average.

“Zootopia” stars Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Shakira, Bonnie Hunt, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer and Jenna Slate and takes place in a city full of animals where a fugitive con-artist fox (Bateman) and a bunny cop (Goodwin) band together to uncover a conspiracy.

The film drew rave reviews (it is certified “fresh” with a 98 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes) and hearty applause from filmgoers (it boasts a solid A CinemaScore grade). Its weekend take included $5.2 million on domestic IMAX screens, making it the second-best animated opener for the large-format exhibitor (after the $8.4 million that “Toy Story 3” made). “Zootopia” also brought in $63.4 million overseas to boost its four-week global cumulative tally to $232.5 million.

With no major films for children due to open until “The Jungle Book” on April 15, “Zootopia” is poised for a long and strong run at the box office.

Overall, the total box office rounded out the weekend on an incredibly healthy note. It was up 54 percent from last week and a whopping 95 percent from the same frame a year ago, according to comScore.

The Top 10:
1. “Zootopia” (Disney) — $73.7 million in Week 1 ($73.7 million total)
2. “London Has Fallen” (Focus) — $21.7 million in Week 1 ($21.7 million total)
3. “Deadpool” (Fox) — $16.4 million in Week 4 ($311.2 million total)
4. “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (Paramount) — $7.6 million in Week 1 ($7.6 million total)
5. “Gods of Egypt” (Lionsgate) — $5 million in Week 2 ($22.8 million total)
6. “Risen” (Sony) — $3.9 million in Week 3 ($28.7 million total)
7. “Kung Fu Panda 3” (Fox) — $3.5 million in Week 6 ($133.8 million total)
8. “The Revenant” (Fox) — $3.3 million in Week 11 ($176 million total)
9. “Eddie the Eagle” (Fox) — $3.1 million in Week 2 ($10.9 million total)
10. “The Witch” (A24) — $2.5 million in Week 3 ($20.9 million total)

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