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Box Office: ‘Zootopia’ Jumps to Record $1.7 Million on Thursday

Disney’s “Zootopia” hopped to $1.7 million at Thursday night preview showings in the U.S.

The animated comedy is expected to dominate weekend moviegoing with at least $60 million at 3,827 sites.

Zootopia” is opening against action sequel “London Has Fallen” and Tina Fey comedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” along with Fox’s fourth weekend of “Deadpool.”

The Thursday night preview number for “Zootopia” is Disney’s top non-summer preview gross for an animated movie. Disney opened “Big Hero 6” in early November, 2014, with $1.4 million in previews on its way to a $56 million opening weekend.

“Zootopia” centers on a rabbit (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) trying to establish herself as a cop in a city filled with other anthropomorphic animals. It bows in 3,827 theaters, including 365 Imax, 325 premium large format and 3,100 3D engagements.

The Rotten Tomatoes score is at 99% with 97 of 98 reviews “fresh” and its international total is $98 million after three weekends with openings in China, Germany and Russia this weekend.

“London Has Fallen” did half the preview business of “Zootopia” with $850,000 at 2,400 locations. “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” was far less impressive with $300,000 on Thursday night.

Deadpool” is showing at 3,264 sites and should take in about $20 million and battle “London Has Fallen for second after leading for three consecutive weekends. It has earned $292.6 million since opening on Feb. 12 and should add another $20 million to its winnings this weekend.

“London Has Fallen” should provide some redemption for star Gerard Butler a week after his “Gods of Egypt” under-performed in its opening.” Butler returns as a Secret Service agent three years after rescuing the President in “Olympus Has Fallen” along with Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman returning as the president and vice president.

Focus Features is distributing the picture, made for roughly $60 million, at 3,490 domestic locations. “Olympus” opened to $30 million in 2013 on its was to a $99 million domestic total.

Paramount’s “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” a comedy that finds Tina Fey reporting from a war zone, opens at 2,374 sites and is expected to bring in $12 million for the weekend. “Whiskey” has a $35 million production price tag.

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