“10 Cloverfield Lane” is a strong second with $25 million, as Sacha Baron Cohen‘s “The Brothers Grimsby” tanks, “Young Messiah” can’t convert and “Perfect Match” ignites
If there were any doubt that Disney Animation’s “Zootopia” was a bona fide beast at the U.S. box office, that was dispelled this weekend, as the family film roared to $50 million and dominated a field filled with clear-cut winners and losers.
“Zootopia,” the well-reviewed 3D computer-animated take on racial prejudice and stereotyping fell off just 33 percent from its record-breaking debut last weekend, and it has topped $142 million domestically. It added another $83 million overseas — $56.3 million from China alone — and has made $431 million globally after just 10 days in release.
“10 Cloverfield Lane,” a low-budget horror film produced by “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” director J.J. Abrams, was a surprisingly strong second with an estimated $25 million from 3,391 theaters in its debut for Paramount Pictures.
But Sacha Baron Cohen‘s “The Brothers Grimsby” tanked with just over $3 million from 2,225 locations in its opening for Sony Pictures Entertainment, in the worst box-office opening yet for the British comedy star.
And “The Young Messiah,” a PG-13-rated drama based on an Anne Rice book and starring Adam Greaves-Neal as the young Jesus Christ, failed to convert the masses and finished with roughly $3.4 million from 1,761 theaters for Focus Features.
“The Perfect Match,” an R-rated romantic comedy targeting African-American audiences directed by Bille Woodruff (“Beauty Shop”), did even better and drew its $4.1 million for Lionsgate’s Codeblack Entertainment from just 925 theaters.
Terrence J, Cassie Ventura, Lauren London and Paula Patton star in the film, which is based on a screenplay by Dana Verde and written by Brandon Broussard and Gary Hardwick. Queen Latifah is an executive producer.
Fox’s R-rated superhero send-up “Deadpool” delivered $10.7 million in its fifth weekend and is at more than $328 million domestically — and bearing down on $700 million globally. It is a big reason why, over the weekend, Fox became the first studio to top the $1 billion mark in global grosses this year.
“London Has Fallen” took in $10.5 million in its second weekend for Focus and upped its domestic total to $38.7 million. It easily beat out another second-week film, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” Paramount’s R-rated Tina Fey comedy managed $4.5 million and is now at $14.5 million.
The PG-13-rated chiller “10 Cloverfield Lane” stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. and has been termed by Abrams a “spiritual sequel” to the 2008 found-footage horror film “Cloverfield,” which stunned for Paramount with a $40 million debut.
Director Dan Trachtenberg‘s feature film debut was called “The Cellar” when it was in the script stage in 2014, and it subsequently became “Valencia.” It took on its current title during its development at the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director’s Bad Robot Productions.
“Dan did a really wonderful job,” Paramount distribution and marketing chief Megan Colligan told TheWrap. “And I think this shows that J.J. is a very good mentor as well as director and producer.”
Written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stucken and Damien Chazelle, “10 Cloverfield Lane” has a budget in the mid-10 millions. The critics have it at 91 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes and it received a “B-” CinemaScore from audiences in 3,391 theaters.
That’s not bad considering that horror fans are notoriously tough graders and the fact that “Cloverfield Lane” had to surprise some fans, since it’s not a true sequel. The demographic breakdown on the audiences — 60 percent male and 65 percent over 25 years old — was unusual, since horror films typically skew toward young women.
“That people are talking about the performances in this film is really gratifying, because they are really well-drawn characters and each actor did a terrific job,” Colligan said.