Egyptian gods and Olympic ski jumpers couldn’t end Deadpool’s box office reign. Instead, bunny cop Judy Hopps will be the one to take down Wade Wilson, as Zootopia is set to debut to $60 million or more.
Disney’s PG-rated adventure is the first major animated release since Kung Fu Panda 3 hit theaters on Jan. 29, and the lack of kid-friendly fare, coupled with Zootopia’s phenomenal reviews, should help Zootopia kick off the March box office with a bang. New releases London Has Fallen and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot will also open wide.
Here’s how this weekend’s box office race might shape up:
1. Zootopia — $60 million
Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 55th animated feature follows rookie police officer Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) as she teams up with a con artist fox (Jason Bateman) to crack a case. Critics have universally praised Zootopia for its messages about prejudice, and the movie currently boasts a perfect 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So far, Zootopia has racked up more than $93 million internationally over the past three weeks, and when it opens this weekend in 3,827 domestic theaters, it should bring in at least $60 million, if not more. Four years ago, The Lorax opened to $70.2 million on an almost identical weekend, and Zootopia could be in that ballpark.
2. London Has Fallen — $22 million
Two years ago, the original Olympus Has Fallen opened in March to $30.4 million, going on to gross $98.9 million domestically. Now, Gerard Butler is reprising his role as a Secret Service agent, this time protecting the president (Aaron Eckhart) at the British prime minister’s funeral in London. Reviews have been scathing, and London Has Fallen currently holds a 19 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Gramercy Pictures is releasing London Has Fallen in 3,490 theaters, and Babak Najafi’s action movie is expected to debut somewhere in the low 20s.
3. Deadpool — $17 million
Since opening Valentine’s Day weekend, Tim Miller’s Deadpool has racked up $292.7 million domestically and $621.5 million worldwide. After three weekends at the top of the charts, the Ryan Reynolds-starring superhero movie should decline about 45 percent for a fourth weekend take around $17 million. That should be enough to put Deadpool in third place, although if it holds up better than expected — or if London Has Fallen underperforms — Deadpool could secure second.
4. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot — $11 million
Tina Fey stars as a war zone reporter in Afghanistan, headlining 30 Rock showrunner Robert Carlock’s adaptation of Kim Barker’s memoir, The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Two years ago, Admission, another Fey picture, opened in March against the original Olympus Has Fallen and only debuted to $6.1 million.) Whiskey Tango Foxtrot has earned so-so reviews, with a 60 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and with Paramount releasing it in 2,300 theaters, it’s on track to earn $10-12 million this weekend.
5. Gods of Egypt — $6.3 million
Gerard Butler should have two movies in the top five this weekend. The $140 million swords-and-sandals epic debuted to only $14.1 million last weekend, and so far, Gods of Egypt has only grossed $17.2 million domestically. It’s expected to fall about 55 percent for a second weekend around $6.3 million.
Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups will also open in four theaters in Los Angeles and New York.