Disney’s “Zootopia” scored the fourth biggest March opening ever, debuting to $73.7 million over the weekend.
The animated story about a rabbit who joins the police force ranks as the biggest Disney Animation launch (though not the best Pixar debut), outstripping “Frozen,” the 2012 blockbuster that bowed to $67.4 million. With no major family film opening until “The Jungle Book” lands on April 15, “Zootopia” is well positioned to be the de facto choice for moviegoers with children for the next month.
“There’s an absence of competition,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief. “We are set up to have a big, big run.”
Disney did not release a budget, but most animated films cost in excess of $100 million. “Zootopia” screened in 3,827 locations.
Beyond the bunnies, “London Has Fallen,” Scottish actor Gerard Butler’s followup to “Olympus Has Fallen,” opened solidly to $21.5 million from 3,490 locations for a second place finish. That does, however, trail the first film’s $30 million debut.
Actress Tina Fey’s “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” stumbled with a $7.6 million launch from 2,374 venues.
After four weeks in theaters, “Deadpool” barreled past the $300 million mark. The comic book movie finished in third place with $16.4 million, pushing its domestic haul to $311.1 million.
“Gods of Egypt” rounded out the top five, picking up $5 million. The $140 million action epic has earned a meager $22.8 million domestically after two weeks — a terrible result for a picture that was intended to usher in a new franchise.