Disney's Zootopia managed to dethrone 20th Century Fox's Deadpool at the box office last weekend, by setting a few records of its own. It topped Dr. Seuss' the Lorax for the highest animated movie opening in March, and became the biggest debut ever for Walt Disney Animation Studios. This weekend, it will go up against four wildly different newcomers, Paramount's low-budget thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane, Sony's R-rated comedy The Brothers Grimsby, Focus Features' historical drama The Young Messiah and Lionsgate's The Perfect Match, none of which are expected to best Zootopia, according to the projections at Pro.BoxOffice.com
Zootopia is expected to drop roughly 50% this weekend, taking in a projected $37.5 million, but since animated movies have tendencies to drop less from week to week, it's possible it could debut just north of $40 million. After all, the movie is a huge hit with critics, scoring a 99% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Zootopia should do well with repeat viewing. Zootopia is also faring incredibly well overseas, with $158.8 million so far for a global total of $233.8 million.
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it's a melting pot where animals from every environment live together-a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn't so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery. The voice cast is rounded out by Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Tommy Chong, J.K. Simmons and Octavia Spencer.
The top newcomer this week will be 10 Cloverfield Lane, which is projected to earn $26 million in its opening weekend. This thriller will be followed by two holdovers London Has Fallen ($13.2 million) and Deadpool ($8.5 million), with the fifth and sixth spots going to The Brothers Grimsby with $8 million and The Young Messiah with $7.5 million. As of now, only The Brothers Grimsby has enough reviews for a Rotten Tomatoes score of 46%, but we'll have to see how that number shifts in the days leading up to the release. 10 Cloverfield Lane will get the widest release of these newcomers, with 3,200 theaters, followed by The Brothers Grimsby with 2,000 theaters, The Young Messiah with 1,600 theaters and The Perfect Match, which isn't expected to crack the top 10, debuting in 850 theaters.
10 Cloverfield Lane has had an unusual history, first starting out as a film known as both Valencia and The Cellar under Paramount Pictures' low-budget division Paramount Insurge. When that specialty label folded, the movie went back to Paramount Pictures, who hired Daniel Casey and Damien Chazelle to rewrite the script so that it would connect to the Cloverfield universe. The story centers on a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who wakes up in the basement of a mysterious man (John Goodman). He tells her that he saved her from a car crash, and now the outside world is uninhabitable.
The Brothers Grimsby centers on Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen), a sweet but dimwitted English football hooligan, reunites with his long-lost brother Sebastian (Mark Strong), a deadly MI6 agent, to prevent a massive global terror attack and prove that behind every great spy is an embarrassing sibling. Nobby has everything a man from Grimsby could want, including 11 children and the most gorgeous girlfriend in the northeast of England (Rebel Wilson). There's only one thing missing: his little brother, Sebastian, who Nobby has spent 28 years searching for after they were separated as kids. Nobby sets off to reunite with Sebastian, unaware that not only is his brother MI6's deadliest assassin, but he's just uncovered plans for an imminent global terrorist attack. On the run and wrongfully accused, Sebastian realizes that if he is going to save the world, he will need the help of its biggest idiot.
The faith-based drama The Young Messiah tells the story of Jesus Christ at age seven as he and his family depart Egypt to return home to Nazareth. Told from his childhood perspective, it follows young Jesus as he grows into his religious identity. The cast includes Sean Bean, David Bradley, Jonathan Bailey, Isabelle Adriani, Christian McKay and Lee Boardman. The Perfect Match follows a playboy named Charlie (Terrence Jenkins), who, after being convinced that all his relationships are dead, meets the beautiful and mysterious Eva (Paula Patton). After agreeing to a casual affair, Charlie starts wants a bit more from their relationship.
The top 10 will be rounded out by The Young Messiah ($7.5 million), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ($4.1 million), Gods of Egypt ($3 million), Risen ($1.9 million) and Kung Fu Panda 3 ($1.4 million). Also opening in limited release this weekend is Gravitas Ventures' Barney Thomson, Magnolia's Creative Control, Bleecker Street's Eye in the Sky, FilmRise's Lolo, A24's Remember and Well Go USA's Rise of the Legend. No theater counts were given for any of these limited release titles, and it isn't known if there are plans for expansion in the weeks ahead.
Looking ahead to next weekend, only two new movies open in wide release, Lionsgate/Summit's The Divergent Series: Allegiant and TriStar's Miracles from Heaven. Opening in limited release are Warner Bros.' Midnight Special, Paramount's The Little Prince, Sony Pictures Classics' The Bronze, A24's Krisha and Freestyle Releasing's Ktown Cowboys. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again a week from today when we predict Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's box office take. Until then, check out this week's predictions below.
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: