After last weekend’s ho-hum frame, Walt Disney Animation is looking to invigorate the box office with its original feature Zootopia, which is looking at a $60M-$70M opening. Non-Disney box office analysts believe the toon will open in the upper range, and if it surpasses $67.4M for the three days, Zootopia will beat Frozen for the biggest opening for an original Disney animated IP. That’s amazing given that we’re in a nonholiday period.
Already, Zootopia is a hit with critics at 100% Fresh and will have accumulated $100M at the overseas box office by the time it opens Friday. The pic has been in release abroad for three weeks, and its stateside debut is synced with China, Germany and Russia. The film has hit a heartwarming nerve with both preview audiences and critics, given that it carries a message about racism and class status that is ripe for our times. Zootopia will play in 3,827 theaters. That breaks down to 3,100 3D venues, full Imax at 365, plus 325 PLF hubs. Thursday previews start at 7 PM, though not much is expected for a family film on a weekday at this time of year.
In second, Gerard Butler will be in competition with himself as Focus Features/Gramercy’s London Has Fallen hits the marquee against Lionsgate’s disastrous Gods of Egypt, which is in its second frame. London Has Fallen is the sequel to the 2013 surprise spring action thriller Olympus Has Fallen, which made close to $99M after a $30.4M opening. A debut in the low $20M is expected at 3,490 theaters and older males are the key target here, of course. Previews start Thursday at 7 PM. Rotten Tomatoes score: a low 27%.
Meanwhile, Gods of Egypt is expected to fall 55% from its opening for an estimated $6.3M second weekend. Through yesterday, Alex Proyas’ sword-and-sandal pic counts $16.4M.
20th Century Fox’s Deadpool is headed to $300M and is expected to notch $20M in its fourth sesh. Current cume for the Ryan Reynolds hit is $290.5M.
Paramount has the Tina Fey comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in 2,300 locales, and the studio is hoping for $10M-$12M. The political comedy is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who were last seen about a year ago with Warner Bros’ Will Smith romance noir Focus ($18.7M, $53.9M). Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is based on Kim Barker’smemoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan and was adapted by Fey’s writing partner and 30 Rock EP Robert Carlock. The R-rated comedy details Barker’s journo days in the region post-9/11. Critics currently are giving it a 57% rotten score. There will be 7PM Thursday previews.
Meanwhile, Open Road is taking its Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight into 1,227 venues after playing 685 last weekend. It is expected to make north of $1M. Birdman made a similar jump after its Best Picture win last year, making $1.9M that weekend.
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