Weekend Box Office (March 18 - 20, 2016)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Showing remarkable stamina, Disney's runaway toon juggernaut Zootopia held the number one spot for a third time in a row grossing a sensational $37.2M, according to final studio figures. Off a mere 28% thanks to terrific buzz, the PG-rated hit hopped over the $200M mark in only 17 days to reach a new domestic cume of $200.9M.

Among third weekend grosses, Zootopia's tally ranks eighth best of all-time trailing behind mostly super hero films and sequels. In fact, the only original property to ever make more in its third weekend was Avatar. The bunny cop pic almost edged out the $37.9M of Shrek 2 for the best third frame ever among animated films. Third weekend grosses of recent mega-toons include $29.8M for Inside Out, $22.9M for Minions, and $22.6M for Frozen.

With Good Friday and Easter Sunday coming up next weekend, and many schools being on break this week, sales should continue to be solid. The massive $100M+ launch of Batman v Superman will certainly be a vacuum affecting all films in the marketplace and at the very least will provide competition for older kids and mainstream crowds. But Zootopia still has a great shot at reaching $300M domestic becoming only the ninth animated film of all-time to pass that mark.

The mammal metropolis film remained a giant force around the world with an international take of $64.8M for a global grab of $102M this weekend. Offshore grosses rose to $389.9M led by China which accounts for almost half of that with a stunning $173.4M surpassing the $146M of Kung Fu Panda 3 from earlier this year. At $591M worldwide, Zootopia is showing strong holds everywhere and has no plans of going away anytime soon. The U.K. opens next weekend followed by Japan next month putting the Disney behemoth on course to shatter $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Only three other toons have ever done that - Frozen, Minions, and Toy Story 3.

Franchise fatigue swooped in to affect The Divergent Series: Allegiant which opened in second place with $29M. The first two films in the Divergent series debuted at number one over this same weekend during the past two years and each broke $50M in the process. Pummeled with poor reviews, Allegiant opened 44% below last year's Insurgent and 47% below 2014's Divergent. The new film averaged $7,761 from 3,740 locations this weekend and carried a budget estimated to be north of $100M.

The Hunger Games franchise was in a similar situation with its first two installments both opening close to each other ($150-160M in that case) while the third film (the first of two films based on the final book) saw a significant drop in opening weekend turnout. Mockingjay Part 1 bowed 23% below Catching Fire. The key difference for Divergent is that its grosses are at a much lower level, and the erosion suffered by the third film is much more pronounced.

Word of mouth on Allegiant is not so good as evidenced by the so-so B CinemaScore grade it earned from paying moviegoers. Given how past Divergent films have played out in the March-April corridor, it would be hard to imagine Allegiant reaching more than $75M by the end of its domestic run. That puts intense pressure on the shoulders of Lionsgate's final film in this series, Ascendant, which is slated for a June 9 release next year becoming the first in the franchise to get a summer release date. The final book was not well-liked by readers so that was an obstacle that the movie series has always had to face.

One week before Easter, the faith-based true story Miracles from Heaven scored a hit with a good third place bow of $14.8M from 3,047 locations for a $4,861 average. Sony launched the inspirational pic on Wednesday with solid mid-weeks putting the five-day debut at $18.4M. The audience for the $13M production was 65% female and 75% over 25. Miracles earned a glowing A+ grade from CinemaScore audiences. Good word of mouth and upcoming religious holidays could bode well for the road ahead on this PG-rated pic.

Dropping 49% in its second weekend was Paramount's 10 Cloverfield Lane with $12.5M pushing the cume to $45.2M. It was a fine hold for a sci-fi sequel and the under $20M production looks to reach about $70M. Fox's Deadpool followed with $8M, off only 27%, for a new total of $341M. Overseas grosses climbed to $389.7M putting the global gross at an astounding $730M. A big test will come next weekend when the super hero tentpole Batman v Superman opens.

Gerard Butler's action sequel London Has Fallen declined by 37% to $6.8M giving Focus $50M to date. Tina Fey saw a 40% dip for her comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot which collected $2.8M for $19.3M so far for Paramount.

A pair of sophomore titles with huge drops followed. Lionsgate's relationship film The Perfect Match took in $2M, down 54%, while Sony's spy flop The Brothers Grimsby tumbled 56% to $1.4M. New cumes are $7.4M and $5.9M, respectively.

Leonardo DiCaprio and his Oscar statue rounded out the top ten with The Revenant which dropped 41% to $1.2M. The Fox hit has spent ten weeks in the top ten this year and has amassed $181.1M from North America. Domestic may be winding down, but China just got started this weekend with a huge $33.4M opening pushing the international cume into triple century territory at $302M. Global is at $483M and will smash the half-billion mark by the end of this week.

The top ten films grossed $115.8M which was off 1% from last year when Insurgent opened at number one with $52.3M; and down 9% from 2014 when Divergent debuted in the top spot with $54.6M.

Compared to projections, The Divergent Series: Allegiant debuted a couple of notches below my $31M forecast while Miracles from Heaven came in higher than my $11M prediction.

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Watch the trailer for Captain America: Civil War.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when the sequels Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 both open.

# Title Mar 18 - 20 Mar 11 - 13 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Zootopia $ 37,164,158 $ 51,339,887 -27.6 3,959 3 $ 9,387 $ 200,929,655 Disney
2 The Divergent Series: Allegiant 29,027,348 3,740 1 7,761 27,027,348 Lionsgate
3 Miracles from Heaven 14,812,393 3,047 1 4,861 18,369,446 Sony
4 10 Cloverfield Lane 12,506,539 24,702,752 -49.4 3,427 2 3,649 45,183,178 Paramount
5 Deadpool 8,011,984 10,942,304 -26.8 2,924 6 2,740 340,953,367 Fox
6 London Has Fallen 6,848,377 10,836,078 -36.8 3,011 3 2,274 50,044,197 Focus
7 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 2,801,718 4,665,013 -39.9 2,079 3 1,348 19,272,558 Paramount
8 The Perfect Match 1,974,056 4,294,232 -54.0 925 2 2,134 7,380,235 Lionsgate
9 The Brothers Grimsby 1,420,281 3,258,327 -56.4 2,235 2 635 5,932,951 Sony
10 The Revenant 1,207,791 2,056,262 -41.3 935 13 1,292 181,144,329 Fox
11 Risen 1,145,157 2,282,208 -49.8 1,205 5 950 34,471,827 Sony
12 Gods of Egypt 1,125,176 2,546,473 -55.8 1,075 4 1,047 29,507,952 Lionsgate
13 The Young Messiah 1,089,234 3,294,876 -66.9 1,769 2 616 5,401,589 Focus
14 Hello, My Name is Doris 998,121 84,986 128 2 7,798 1,115,788 Roadside Attr.
15 Kapoor & Sons - Since 1921 986,992 143 1 6,902 986,417 FIP
16 Kung Fu Panda 3 971,417 1,707,494 -43.1 719 8 1,351 138,384,931 Fox
17 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 966,071 1,297,752 -25.6 568 14 1,701 932,324,258 Disney
18 Anomalisa 760,451 14,803 573 12 1,327 3,442,820 Paramount
19 Eddie the Eagle 602,325 1,571,915 -61.7 682 4 883 14,728,827 Fox
20 Spotlight 423,465 931,412 -54.5 443 20 956 44,000,003 Open Road
Top 5 $ 101,522,422 $ 102,510,719 -1.0
Top 10 115,774,645 118,186,835 -2.0
Top 20 124,843,054 129,675,000 -3.7
Top 10 vs. 2015 124,843,054 126,993,052 -1.7

Last Updated: March 20, 2016 at 3:20PM ET

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