Herds of moviegoers are expected to turn out for the animated family comedy on Saturday and Sunday after the pic pulled in $19.5 million on Friday from 3,827 locations. Should estimates hold, “Zootopia” will set the new record for biggest non-Pixar Disney debut weekend, currently held by 2014’s “Big Hero 6” and its $56 million launch. It also has a shot at becoming the 12th animated movie to premiere to more than $70 million, a list led by the 2007 launch of “Shrek the Third” at $121 million.
“Zootopia” stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman as an anthropomorphic bunny and fox, respectively, who are forced to work together despite their predator-prey dynamics. In his review of the film, Variety critic Peter Debruge likens “Zootopia” to “a classic L.A.-style detective story, a la ‘The Big Lebowski’ or ‘Inherent Vice,’ yielding an adult-friendly whodunit with a chipper ‘you can do it!’ message for the cubs.”
“London Has Fallen,” the Gerard Butler-starring follow-up to 2013’s “Olympus Has Fallen,” will finish the weekend in second place with a projected $21 million weekend total. The R-rated Focus Features actioner took in $7.5 million on Friday from 3,490 locations.
“Deadpool,” which ruled the box office for the past three weekends, finally slips to third place in its fourth frame with an expected three-day take of $16 million. Fox’s R-rated superhero comedy starring Ryan Reynolds brought in $4.7 million Friday night, unspooling in 3,624 locations. “Deadpool’s” domestic cume will cross $300 million by the end of the frame.
“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” also debuts this weekend in 2,374 locations. Starring Tina Fey and Margot Robbie, the Middle East-set war dramedy took in $2.4 million on Friday and should generate a three-day total around $7 million.