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‘Zootopia’ Poised for Record $70 Million Opening

The well-reviewed family film is on track to score Disney Animation’s biggest non-holiday box office debut

“Zootopia,” Disney Animation’s latest feature, is looking to roar to a $70 million-plus opening weekend following an impressive $19.4 million haul at the Friday box office.

That would give the PG-rated movie the biggest debut in the history of Disney Animation, after the blockbuster “Frozen,” which raked in $67.4 million over the three-day weekend at Thanksgiving 2013. (Disney’s Pixar unit still holds the record for the company’s biggest animated opener, set in 2010 with the $110.3 million bow for “Toy Story 3.”)

“Zootopia” has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98 percent based on 126 reviews. It also received a CinemaScore of A. The movie grossed $1.7 million at the Thursday previews and broke the record for the highest-grossing Thursday-night opening for a non-summer animation movie for Disney.

“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.

Gerard Butler‘s “London Has Fallen” grossed $7.6 million at the Friday box office, tracking for a three-day estimate of $21.4 million, higher than initial projections. The R-rated thriller is a sequel to “Olympus Has Fallen,” which opened with $30 million in 2013.

Early tracking pegged the big-budget action film at $18 million to $20 million. If “London” really comes in at that number Sunday, it would take second place at the box office, ahead of reigning champion “Deadpool,” which is looking to gross another $18 million to add to its $294.7 million domestic gross.

Butler is up to his same old tricks in the sequel to “Olympus Has Fallen.” This time, he is in London for the Prime Minister’s funeral, when his character, Mike Banning, discovers a plot to assassinate all of the world’s top leaders. Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart also star, and the film currently sports a score of 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a CinemaScore of A-.

Tina Fey‘s dramedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” the weekend’s other newcomer, is looking to gross a disappointing $7 million — well under initial projections that pegged the film’s opening weekend in the range of $10 million to $12 million.

Fey stars as an American journalist with Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina and Billy Bob Thornton. The movie is based on Kim Baker’s memoir “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The film currently holds a score of 61 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a CinemaScore of B.