Sunday, March 20, 2016

Zootopia Is Number One Movie At The Box Office Three Weeks In A Row While Allegiant Falls And Midnight Special Hopping

A little movie called Zootopia continued to easily rule the box office with a hearty $38.9 million in its third weekend of release, a 24% decline from last weekend. That's a pretty spectacular number for a movie's third weekend, placing it as the seventh biggest third weekend of all-time, putting it ahead of the third-weekend haul of box office juggernauts like The Dark Knight Rises, Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Zootopia has now grossed $202.7 million domestically, and with no new family movies entering the marketplace for another 4 weeks, it ain't slowing down anytime soon.

Allegiant became the first Divergent movie to not open at number one at the box office as well as claiming by far the lowest opening weekend of any entry in the saga. Allegiant opened to $29.3 million this weekend, a substantial drop from the $50+ million bows of its two predecessors. It also got trampled by critics (0% of Top Critics on Rotten Tomatoes currently have a positive thing to say about the picture) and even audiences weren't as enthralled this go around, giving the picture a B CinemaScore compared to the first two movies scoring in the A CinemaScore range. To boot, with Batman v. Superman debuting next weekend, this thing's gonna have a much larger second-weekend dip than its predecessors despite having a noticeably lower bow.

It's not exactly rocket science why Allegiant failed to light up the box office; the first two Divergent movies failed to really garner a huge following, there was a distinct lack of new characters or situations presented in the marketing and the Allegiant book is infamous for its poor reception from critics and audiences. Lionsgate/Summit (who are having a rough year between duds like Allegiant, Gods Of Egypt, Norm Of The North and Dirty Grandpa) have a final Divergent film, Ascension, set for June 9, 2017, but I have a hunch that's gonna get quietly shuttered sometime in the next month after these meager domestic box office results for Allegiant.

In third place, Miracles From Heaven scored solid debut with $15 million, the seventh-biggest opening weekend for a Christian movie on record. In its first five days of release, Miracles From Heaven has made $18.5 million, which is below the $22.5 million three-day opening weekend total of Heaven Is For Real, but that one got a boost from opening over Easter weekend. This is still a solid win for Sony/TriStar considering the smaller $13 million budget of Miracles From Heavens and, even with God's Not Dead 2 entering the marketplace in two weeks, it wouldn't be a shock if this film got to $50 million by the end of its run.

10 Cloverfield Lane actually had a decent hold in its second weekend, only going down 47% for a $13 million haul this frame and taking it to a 10 day total of $45.7 million. That's a way better second dip than Cloverfield (which plummeted 68% in its second frame) and shows there's some solid word-of-mouth floating around for this thriller. Rounding out the fifth place was that persistent Merc With A Mouth, Deadpool, which had its smallest weekend-to-weekend decline yet, going down only 23% from last weekend for an $8.2 million sum this frame. Deadpool has now grossed $341.1 million domestically, overtaking the final domestic haul of Guardians Of The Galaxy, and will surpass American Sniper (which grossed $350.1 million) to become the second-biggest R-rated movie of all-time in no time at all.

This weekend also saw the surprise debut of The Bronze, which I dub a surprise because I didn't even know this was going out into wide release this weekend until four days ago. Sony Pictures Classics made history with this release, making it their first movie ever to debut in wide release on opening weekend. Going out into 1,167 locations, this turned out to not be a smart move for the release, as it had one of the worst debuts on record for a wide release, taking in only $421,434 for the weekend resulting in a miserable per-theater average of $361. Another fantastic botch, er, job, by the release geniuses at Sony Pictures Classics everyone! The studio that refused to put Whiplash or Love Is Strange into wide release has another winner on their hands!

In the arthouse circuit, Midnight Special opened in five theaters to great results, opening to $185,000 and a strong per-theater-average of $37,000. Warner Bros. plans to expand this one into more locations in the coming weeks which isn't shocking given the great reviews the films has received and these great early numbers in limited release. It should also be noted that Anomalisa got its biggest theater count yet by far (specifically, 573 theaters, just shy of qualifying as a wide release) this weekend, being paired up as a double feature with fellow Paramount Pictures release Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in a number of locations. It grossed a decent $740,000 this weekend, by far its largest weekend sum yet, for a $1,291 per theater average, taking its domestic gross to $3.42 million. Finally, after re-expanding it into more locations multiple times over the past month, Spectre finally crossed $200 million. Taking 136 days to cross that mark, it is the seventh slowest film ever to reach $200 million and is only the twelfth movie ever from Sony/Columbia to cross $200 million domestically.

Overall, the top 12 this weekend grossed $119 million, down 2% from this frame last year when the second Divergent movie, Insurgent, debuted to far better results than Allegiant. It's essentially a guarantee that this weekend's biggest release, Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, will outgross the the combined Top 12 gross al by itself.

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