“Zootopia” Wins Weekend Over “Deadpool”


March 4 - 6, 2016

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Zootopia ($73.7)
London Has Fallen ($21.7)
Deadpool ($16.4)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ($7.6)
Gods of Egypt ($5.0)


Zootopia is ruling the roost. The animated cop story resonated with critics – it’s got a remarkable 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes – and families as well. The movie was No. 1 by a lot. In fact, that $73.7 million is the biggest ever debut for a movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios (that noticeably excludes Pixar films). Yes, Zootopia started even bigger than Frozen. While I would be shocked if Zootopia comes anywhere close to Frozen’s $400 million, it’s off to an incredible start.


London Has Fallen was still pretty strong, despite debuting lower than Olympus Has Fallen did in 2013. Its $21.7 million debut portends good things to come, since it clicked with audiences (who gave it an A- average review), even though critics loathed it. But it still faced formidable competition from Deadpool, which made $16.4 million in its fourth weekend. By next weekend, it will be breathing down the neck of Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man 3 to crack the top 10 comic book movies.


After the low-key success of Sisters, one would hope Tina Fey would find another hit. But it wasn’t to be. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot had a WTF debut, earning only $7.6 million this weekend. That’s slightly better than 2013’s Admission, but not by much. Don’t expect this one to even make back its $35 million budget. But at least it’s not Gods of Egypt, which fell to fifth place and will likely go down as one of 2016’s biggest flops.


Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Knight of Cups, the latest gorgeous but somewhat incomprehensible meditation on the meaning of life from Terrence Malick. The film, starring Christian Bale, earned an impressive $14,172 average on each of its four screens.
  • The Other Side of the Door might not even live to see the other side of the week. Despite opening on 546 screens, the horror flick only made $1.2 million, good for 16th place.
  • Spotlight got the biggest boost from winning big at the Academy Awards. The Best Picture nearly doubled its screen count and has now made $41.6 million. Like last year’s winner Birdman, it never cracked the Top 5.

Next week:

10 Cloverfield Lane finds out just how much incredible marketing can do. Its trailer is one of the best I’ve ever seen, but it will need a lot of help to unseat Zootopia. I think the animated flick repeats at No. 1 with $45 million, while 10 Cloverfield Lane is close behind at $40 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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