After a three-week stint atop the box office, 20th Century Fox's Deadpool was finally taken down by Disney's Zootopia earlier this month, which is putting together a solid run of its own. The animated comedy will go up against two new releases, Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Allegiant and Miracles from Heaven in theaters this weekend, but, unlike the Merc With the Mouth, Zootopia isn't expected to reign supreme for a third week in a row. According to the projections at Pro.BoxOffice.com, The Divergent Series: Allegiant should come out on top in its first weekend in theaters. But perhaps not by a strong margin.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant is projected to take in $37 million in its opening weekend, which would normally result in an easy win, but it all depends on how much Zootopia drops in its third frame. Last weekend, the animated blockbuster only dropped 31.9%, and if it drops that much again, it will earn $35.9 million, coming in a close second place in its third weekend. It's always difficult to predict how much a movie will drop from week to week, but Zootopia is a huge hit with critics, scoring a 99% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so Zootopia should do well with repeat viewing, and it wouldn't be surprising if it suffered another minimal drop.
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 only other newcomer this weekend is Miracles from Heaven, which is poised to take third place this weekend with an estimated $19 million. This faith-based drama is expected to open in an estimated 3,000 theaters, with The Divergent Series: Allegiant arriving in an estimated 3,700 theaters. It's worth noting that The Divergent Series: Allegiant has not fared well with critics thus far, with just an 18% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If it hits the $37 million opening weekend projection, it will still be the worst opening in franchise history, following 2014's Divergent ($54.6 million opening weekend, $150.9 million domestic) and last year's The Divergent Series: Insurgent ($52.2 million opening weekend, $130.2 million domestic). It's possible that the franchise is suffering since the last book in the Veronica Roth novel series has been split into two movies, a trend that has fallen out of favor with many fans.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant raises the stakes for Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are now fugitives on the run, hunted by Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. Racing against time, they must find out what Tris's family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris, with Four at her side, faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world.
Miracles from Heaven is based on the book 'Three Miracles From Heaven' by Christy Beam. The story centers on a young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder who finds herself miraculously cured after surviving a terrible accident. Jennifer Garner, Martin Henderson and Queen Latifah star, with a supporting cast including Brighton Sharbino, Kylie Rogers, John Carroll Lynch, Eugenio Derbez, Hannah Alligood, Rhoda Griffis and Gregory Alan Williams. The top 5 will be rounded out by 10 Cloverfield Lane ($16.8 million) and Deadpool $7.3 million.
The top 10 will be rounded out by London Has Fallen ($6.4 million), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ($3.1 million), The Perfect Match ($2.9 million), The Young Messiah ($2.1 million) and The Brothers Grimsby ($1.7 million). Also 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. It isn't known if there are any plans for nationwide expansion for any of these movies quite yet, but we'll keep you posted.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Warner Bros. highly-anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will hit theaters on March 25, and unlike most movies of this stature, it actually has some competition in theaters. Universal will debut the comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 against this superhero adventure, while Relativity Media will roll out the thriller The Disapppointments Room. It's not uncommon for other studios to give huge superhero movies the weekend to themselves, since they don't want to compete with it. For example, Captain America: Civil War will have the May weekend to itself. While the comedy and thriller shouldn't put a huge dent in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's box office, we'll have to wait and see. Until then, take a look at this week's projections.
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: