’10 Cloverfield Lane’ Opens Strong But ‘Zootopia’ Stays on Top of the Box Office

     March 13, 2016

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For the second week in a row, Disney’s Zootopia is the number one film in North America. The animated feature was down just 33% in its sophomore frame and crossed the $100 million mark on Friday. Worldwide, Zootopia has already earned more than $431.3 million. That big global haul is due largely to a great showing in China, where the film brought Disney its biggest three-day animated opening ever last weekend.

OK, let’s get right to the week’s biggest bomb – people really didn’t want to see The Brothers Grimsby this weekend. The R-rated comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen earned an estimated $3.1 million from 2,235 locations, or the lowest debut of a major release so far this year. For reference, that’s lower than recent misses like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ($5.3 million) and Fifty Shades of Black ($5.9 million). In fact, the only film that can credibly claim to be a bigger box office dud in 2016 is The Weinstein Co.’s Jane Got a Gun, which opened in only 1,210 theatres.


the-brothers-grimsby-posterGrimsby received a promising B+ from CinemaScore audiences, though that’s a hollow victory when actual audiences fail to show up on opening weekend. By comparison, Baron Cohen’s last two comedies, The Dictator and Bruno, both received ‘C’ scores and went on to earn $59 and $60 million at the domestic box office, respectively. One week ago it looked like we’d be talking about The Brothers Grimsby as a disappointment because it failed to open above $10 million, but at this point a final domestic gross below $10 million feels like a real possibility. The film has also failed to distinguish itself overseas, earning just $7 million over two weeks. And with a reported budget of $35 million, it’s hard to see how Sony or Sacha Baron Cohen can spin this as anything other than a disaster.

On a much more positive note, 10 Cloverfield Lane saw a strong debut this weekend. The secretive thriller from producer J.J. Abrams earned an estimated $25.2 million from 3,391 locations, or well above the $18 million Paramount was said to be expecting. The sort-of sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield has had great reviews (91% on Rotten Tomatoes) but received a B- from CinemaScore, so it remains to be seen how well it will hold in the coming weeks. J.J. Abrams’ other box office entry, a little pic called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is still playing in 760 locations in its thirteenth weekend and has a current domestic total of $930.7 million.

Deadpool continues to impress in its fifth frame. Fox’s R-rated superhero hit claimed another $10.8 million this weekend to bring its domestic total up to $328 million. That still leaves Deadpool third behind American Sniper on the list of all-time R-rated releases, though the margin is closing. In other holdover news, London Has Fallen slipped 50% in its sophomore frame. With a current domestic cume of $38.8 million, the sequel is now running almost 30% behind 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen at the same point in its run.

Lionsgate’s The Perfect Match opened in fifth place this weekend with an estimated $4.1 million. That’s notable because the R-rated romance is only playing in 925 locations. Compare that to Focus Features’ The Young Messiah, which opened with just $3.4 million from 1,761 locations. Messiah scored an A- from CinemaScore but likely suffered from low exposure and the presence of that other Christian-themed feature in the top ten: Risen. And things won’t get any easier for Messiah next weekend. Sony’s Miracles from Heaven will target the same faith-based crowd with a Wednesday debut in 3,000 locations.


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Image via Focus Features

Also opening next weekend is Allegiant, the third entry in Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series. Part one of two films based on the final novel in Veronica Roth’s sci-fi series, Allegiant is expected to open well below last year’s Insurgent ($52.2 million) with about $38 million.

Here’s this weekend’s top ten, based on studio estimates:

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Zootopia $50,000,000 $142.6
2.  10 Cloverfield Lane $25,200,000 $25.2
3.  Deadpool $10,800,000 $328
4.  London Has Fallen $10,668,000 $38.8
5.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot $4,600,000 $14.5
6.  The Perfect Match $4,150,000 $4.1
7.  The Young Messiah $3,404,000 $3.4
8.  The Brothers Grimsby $3,150,000 $3.1
9.  Gods of Egypt $2,500,000 $27.3
10.  Risen $2,250,000 $32.3

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