Sunday Update: Disney's Zootopia took in an estimated $38.04 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 26 percent from last weekend's already strong hold. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Zootopia registered the eighth largest third weekend gross of all-time and the largest third weekend gross ever for an animated film (the previous third weekend high-mark for an animated film being the $37.93 million take of 2004's Shrek 2).
Zootopia passed the $200 million mark this weekend and has grossed a terrific $201.81 million in 17 days. The film is currently running 49 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 an estimated $29.05 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 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 $11.92 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 is estimated to decline 40 percent on Sunday to gross $6.43 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.44 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 50 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 an estimated $15.0 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 $18.56 million in its first five days. That gave Miracles from Heaven an estimated 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 84 percent).
Miracles from Heaven did open 37 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 an estimated $12.5 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 an estimated $8.0 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 $340.94 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 an estimated $6.89 million. The action thriller sequel from Focus and Gramercy was down a very solid 36 percent from last weekend. London Has Fallen is estimated to pass the $50 million mark today and has grossed $50.09 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.
Saturday Update: The Divergent Series: Allegiant took first place on Friday with an opening day of $11.9 million, although that figure comes in 44 percent lower than Insurgent's $21.15 million opening day last year. With poor reviews and modest word of mouth, unfortunately the penultimate chapter of the series is indicative of some burnout among fans of the property and the young adult sub-genre itself. BoxOffice projects a $29 million opening weekend in second place.
Slipping to second place briefly yesterday was Zootopia, which was off just 20 percent from last Friday to $9.63 million. Incredible word of mouth continues to drive the latest smash hit from Disney Animation as it now stands at $173.4 million through 15 days - 44 percent ahead of the pace of Big Hero 6. BoxOffice projects an excellent $40 million third frame.
Coming in third place, Miracles from Heaven added $4.15 million in its third day of release. With a $7.7 million three-day start, the faith-based film is off to a fair start but hopes to enjoy a leggy run thanks to positive word of mouth among target audiences as we get closer to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. BoxOffice projects a $12.3 million three-day weekend for an overall five-start of $15.9 million.
In fourth place, 10 Cloverfield Lane eased 59 percent from opening day last Friday to $3.665 million yesterday. The strongly received thriller has taken in $36.34 million through eight days of play, 67.5 percent more than The Cabin in the Woods at the same point. Look for a sophomore frame around $11.7 million.
Filling out the top five, Deadpool added $2.25 million yesterday to bump its domestic take up to $335.2 million. This weekend should take in $8.1 million.
Meanwhile, Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special got off to an excellent start in its five-theater launch yesterday with $61,000. With a strong per-theater average of $12,245, the well-reviewed film marks another successful chapter in the filmmaker's burgeoning career. We project a weekend around $190,000.
Friday Update: Sources report that The Divergent Series: Allegiant rang up $2.35 million in early shows last night, marking a sharp 43 percent decline from the $4.1 million take of last year's Insurgent. Based on last night's performance, the film is an eyeing an opening day between $11-12 million and an opening weekend that could fall shy of $30 million.
Meanwhile, Miracles from Heaven eased 12 percent from opening day Wednesday to $1.66 million on Thursday. With a two-day haul of $3.56 million and positive word of mouth from target audiences, Sony continues to project an $8-10 million five-day opening for their latest faith-based film.
Disney's Zootopia is expected to retain first place again for a third straight weekend.
Weekend estimates will follow on Saturday morning once studios report official Friday estimates.