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Zootropolis defeats Deadpool and sets US box office record


Story by Jack Foley

DISNEY animation Zootropolis has shot to the top of the US box office with a record-breaking $73.7 million.

The figure represents the top showing ever for Disney Animation Studios and the top March opening for an animated title, beating Dr. Suess’ The Lorax ($70.2 million).

It’s also the fourth best March opening of any film behind The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) and two Disney live-action titles, Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million) and Oz The Great and Powerful ($79.1 million).

And in topping Disney Animation Studios’ opening figures, Zootropolis – which is known as Zootopia in the US – also beat Frozen‘s $67.4 million.

Set in a city of anthropomorphic animals, Zootropolis tells the story of a rookie bunny cop who teams up with a fugitive fox to uncover a conspiracy.

It is co-directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore and features the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman and Idris Elba.

The box office win continues Disney Animation’s renaissance following the appointment of Pixar’s John Lasseter and Ed Catmull in 2010. Since then, their joint tenure has overseen hits such as Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, the record-breaking Frozen and last year’s smash hit Big Hero 6.

Elsewhere at the US box office, another of the weekend’s new releases, Gerard Butler’s action sequel London Has Fallen, placed second with $21.7 million. The follow-up to Olympus Has Fallen did well to reach that figure in the face of scathing reviews but still came in below pre-release expectations.

Butler has now had new films open across two consecutive weekends in the US – although he would probably rather forget the performance of his first, the epic Gods of Egypt, which flopped massively upon its debut and sunk even faster in its sophomore weekend, closing off with just $5 million to slip to fifth spot.

The remainder of the US top five was filled with R-rated superhero flick Deadpool, which slipped from first to third but still had plenty to celebrate. The film, starring Ryan Reynolds as the foul-mouthed Marvel anti-superhero, took a further $16.3 million in its fourth weekend to zoom past the $300 million in the US. It has now earned $311.2 million in the US alone and taken $673.2 million world-wide.

Completing the top five, meanwhile, was Tina Fey’s war dramedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which landed fourth with an estimated $7.6 million – well below pre-release expectation.

The film is based on journalist Kim Barker’s memoir, The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and also stars Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman and Alfred Molina. It is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. But the figure marks one of the lowest starts for Fey.

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