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Zootropolis continues to rule US box office as Grimsby bombs


Story by Jack Foley

DISNEY’S Zootropolis has continued to dominate the US box office by picking up $50 million in its second weekend of release. But Sacha Baron Cohen’s Grimsby has bombed with $3.2 million – a career low.

Zootropolis, about a plucky rabbit policewoman, has now earned $142.6 million in the US alone. Internationally, it has taken bucket-loads more. In China, for instance, the movie roared to $25 million, to claim the biggest single-day gross ever for an animated film, and has quickly overtaken Big Hero 6 to become the top-grossing title ever from Disney Animation Studios with $89 million, a feat achieved after only nine days in release in the Middle Kingdom.

Its US performance is being attributed to strong reviews, excellent word of mouth and spot-on timing. It’s been more than six weeks since Kung Fu Panda 3 opened in the US, while the next big film aimed at younger audiences is The Jungle Book, which doesn’t land until April 15.

Zootropolis wasn’t the only success in the US, however, as 10 Cloverfield Lane, the spiritual sequel to Cloverfield, earned a very strong $25.2 million.

The plot follows the fortunes of a woman who finds herself trapped in a doomsday bunker, waiting out the apocalypse with the neighbourhood survivalists (led by John Goodman).

Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore credited Bad Robot chief JJ Abrams with coming up with the concept for the twisty thriller while he was in production on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the resulting film cost only $13 million to produce.

However, a clever marketing campaign – coupled with the secrecy surrounding the making of the film – was enough to grab audience interest.

And Moore concurs, opining: “We wanted to give people just enough clues to keep them excited, interested, and wanting more. That’s rare in this day and age, when so much [information] is given out so early.”

While 10 Cloverfield Lane could be described as a monster smash given its cost-to-profit ratio, Sacha Baron Cohen’s Grimsby has to go down as a gargantuan failure. The film cost $35 million to produce but only scraped $3.2 million upon its US release – and this after it performed poorly in Cohen’s home country, the UK.

The spy caper, co-starring Mark Strong, wasn’t the only disappointment. Faith-based play The Young Messiah suffered a similarly lacklustre launch, with just $3.4 million, while romantic drama The Perfect Match, managed only $4.2 million for the weekend.

The US top five was therefore rounded out with holdover titles. Following Zootropolis and 10 Cloverfield Lane were Deadpool, which took third spot with $10.8 million for a US total of $328.1 million; London Has Fallen, which took $10.7 million in its second weekend, and Tina Fey comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which landed fifth with $4.6 million.

Next story: Harry Styles and Aneurin Barnard offered parts in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk movie