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Weekend Estimates: Zootopia tops Allegiant

March 20th, 2016


Zootopia is set to win a third straight race and pass $200 million at the domestic box office in the process, but the real story of this weekend is the weak debut by The Divergent Series: Allegiant.

After Divergent and Insurgent both posted opening weekends over $50 million on this weekend in 2014 and 2015, respectively, a performance something along those lines seemed like a safe bet for Allegiant. Poor reviews (the film is scoring only 10% at Rotten Tomatoes now) explain some of its weakness, but the bigger problem may be the poor quality of the first two films in the franchise, which scored 40% and 29% with critics and 70% and 60% with audiences. Following simplistic logic, if 60% of people liked the last movie, then one would expect only that group to show up for this one, making a decline in opening weekend from $50 million to $30 million about what one would expect. Things aren’t that simple in real life, but this is clearly a case of a franchise that is falling short of the quality it needs to hold on to its audience, or draw in a new one. The even worse news for Lionsgate is that the franchise doesn’t have a massive international following (revenue so far has been split roughly 50-50 between domestic and international markets), so overseas moviegoers aren’t likely to come to the rescue this time.

Zootopia, meanwhile, keeps on trucking. It’s $38 million this weekend takes it to $201.8 million domestically after 17 days, and its 26% decline indicates it’ll be around for a while. With many schools taking breaks in the next couple of weeks, it should continue to bring in healthy receipts, even if it won’t make a challenge for top movie of 2016. Deadpool, which is still in fifth place and has racked up $340 million to date, will hold that title for a while, unless Batman v Superman surprises next weekend.

On this weekend’s chart, one other new release will make the top 10: Miracles from Heaven. The latest faith-based entry from Sony will pick up an estimated $15 million this weekend and $18.5 million since its release on Wednesday. That’s a bit less than the $22.5 million debut enjoyed by Heaven is for Real back in 2014, but it’s the second-best faith-based film opening for Sony overall, so the studio will be pretty happy with this one.

Sony Pictures Classics, however, will be ruing their decision to release The Bronze in 1,167 theaters this weekend. The poorly-reviewed comedy will pick up a projected $421,434, for a theater average of $361.

In more limited release, Midnight Special leads the pack with $185,000 from five venues for an average of $37,000. Also scoring well this weekend are My Golden Days, with $27,000 from three theaters; Too Late, with $7,000 from a single LA movie house; and Kapoor & Sons, which will earn about $965,000 from 143 sites and place 16th overall.

- Weekend estimates
- Zootopia comparisons
- Allegiant comparisons
- Miracles from Heaven comparisons
- Sony’s faith-based films
- The Bronze comparisons

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Midnight Special, Zootopia, The Bronze, Miracles from Heaven, Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse, Too Late, Kapoor & Sons