By Daniel Garris
Disney's Zootopia took in $37.16 million this weekend to lead the weekend box office for a third consecutive frame. The blockbuster 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios held up especially well, as it was only down 28 percent from last weekend's already strong hold. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Zootopia registered the ninth largest third weekend gross of all-time and the second largest third weekend gross ever for an animated film (behind only the $37.93 million third weekend take of 2004's Shrek 2).
Zootopia passed the $200 million mark this weekend and has grossed a terrific $200.93 million in 17 days. The film is currently running 48 percent ahead of the $135.75 million 17-day take of 2014's Big Hero 6 and is already approaching the $222.53 million final domestic gross of that film. Thanks to its exceptional holding power thus far, Zootopia is now running just 18 percent behind the $245.89 million 17-day take of last year's Inside Out. Given its strong word of mouth, the approaching Easter holiday and the relative lack of competition for family audiences it will face throughout the rest of March and early April, Zootopia should continue to hold up very well going forward.
The news was far less encouraging for Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Allegiant this weekend. The third installment of the young adult franchise starring Shailene Woodley debuted in second place with $29.03 million. Allegiant opened a bit below its already scaled back expectations. The film had been expected to fall off sharply from the performance of last year's Insurgent and it did, as Allegiant opened 44.5 percent below the $52.26 million debut of Insurgent. Allegiant opened much more in line with the $30.32 million start of last year's Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Young adult adaptations have clearly seen a decline in their popularity in recent years, with Allegiant serving as the most recent example of that trend.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant started out with $11.94 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.35 million from Thursday evening shows), fell 10 percent on Saturday to take in $10.70 million and declined 40 percent on Sunday to gross $6.39 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.43 to 1. Allegiant received a modest B rating on CinemaScore. That isn't a good sign for the film going forward, especially since Divergent and Insurgent received respective A and A- ratings on CinemaScore. Allegiant currently has a Flixster audience score of just 49 percent, which also represents a new low for the franchise. On top of softer early word of mouth, Allegiant will also have to deal with the highly anticipated launch of Warner's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next weekend.
Sony's Miracles from Heaven debuted in third place this weekend with $14.81 million. After a modest midweek start on Wednesday and Thursday, the faith-based film starring Jennifer Garner really picked up the pace once the weekend hit and has grossed $18.37 million in its first five days. That gave Miracles from Heaven a five-day to three-day weekend ratio of just 1.24 to 1. The film's back-loaded start suggests that strong early word of mouth is already kicking in (Miracles from Heaven received an A+ rating on CinemaScore and has a current Flixster audience score of 85 percent).
Miracles from Heaven did open 38 percent below the $29.56 million five-day start of 2014's Heaven is for Real, but wasn't expected to open as strong as that film did. It's also very possible that Miracles from Heaven will hold up better going forward than Heaven is for Real did, given its strong early word of mouth, its early back-loading and from opening one week earlier in relation to Easter than Heaven is for Real did. Miracles from Heaven was off to a nice start with its production cost in mind, as the film carries a modest reported production budget of $13 million.
Paramount's 10 Cloverfield Lane was down two spots from last weekend to place in fourth with $12.51 million. The J.J. Abrams produced thriller starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman was down 49 percent from last weekend. That represented a respectable second weekend hold, especially since 10 Cloverfield Lane lost IMAX screens to Allegiant this weekend. In addition to good word of mouth, 10 Cloverfield Lane likely also got a bit of a boost this weekend from moviegoers who wanted to catch the film before the arrival of Batman v Superman next weekend. 10 Cloverfield Lane has grossed $45.18 million in ten days. That is towards the higher end of expectations and places the film 6 percent ahead of the $42.56 million ten-day take of last year's The Visit (which fell 54.5 percent in its second weekend to gross $11.57 million).
Deadpool rounded out the weekend's top five with $8.01 million. The Ryan Reynolds led blockbuster antihero film from Fox continued to hold up nicely this weekend, as it was down 27 percent. Deadpool continues to pad its total as the highest grossing release of 2016 thus far with a massive 38-day gross of $340.95 million. Deadpool is likely to fall off much harder next weekend with the arrival of Batman v Superman.
London Has Fallen followed in sixth place with $6.85 million. The action thriller sequel from Focus and Gramercy was down a very solid 37 percent from last weekend. London Has Fallen passed the $50 million mark this weekend and has grossed $50.04 million in 17 days. That is in line with expectations, but is 30 percent softer than the $71.24 million 17-day gross of 2013's Olympus Has Fallen.