'Allegiant' Opens With $11.9M Friday; 'Zootopia' Will Repeat at #1

by Brad Brevet

March 18, 2016

Saturday AM Update: The Divergent Series: Allegiant took the #1 spot on Friday with an estimated $11.9 million to go along with a "B" CinemaScore. This will result in a weekend around $28-31 million weekend for the third film in the Divergent franchise, which kicked off its theatrical run with $2.35 million from Thursday night preview screenings.

This will mark a significant drop from the $54.6 million and $52.2 million opening weekends for Divergent and Insurgent respectively and it will also push Allegiant to #2 for the weekend. Once again it will be Disney's Zootopia atop the box office as it took in an estimated $9.6 million on Friday and should end the weekend anywhere from $36-39 million.

Elsewhere, Sony's Miracles from Heaven brought in an estimated $4.1 million on Friday and is looking at a weekend around $12 million while Sony Classics went wide with The Bronze and the film could only muster $130,000 from 1,167 theaters. Additionally, Warner Bros' limited release of Midnight Special into five theaters brought in $61,000.

Come back tomorrow and we'll have a complete look at the weekend, for now check out the full chart of Friday estimates right here.

Friday AM Update: The Divergent Series: Allegiant grossed an estimated $2.35 million from Thursday night previews, which began at 7PM in over 2,800 theaters. This is quite lower than the $4.9 million Divergent brought in from previews in 2014 and the $4.1 million Insurgent took in last year before the two films went on to open with $54.6 million and $52.2 million respectively.

Using this Thursday number as a basis for comparison, if Allegiant follows Divergent's opening weekend path, wherein its Thursday number makes up 21.5% of its opening day gross, the film is looking at a $10.9 million Friday and an opening weekend around $26 million. Using Insurgent as a comparison, where Insurgent's Thursday previews made up 19.3% of its opening day gross, Allegiant would bring in $12.1 million on Friday and go on to an opening weekend around $30 million. Don't be surprised to see it go a little bit higher than both those figures, but the weekend forecast appears to be right on track.

Behind Deadpool's $12.7 million Thursday previews, Allegiant scored the second largest Thursday preview gross of 2016 so far.

Weekend Preview: While Zootopia prepares for its third straight week atop the weekend box office, a fresh batch of new releases are hoping to stake their own claim among the top ten. Among said new releases we have The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Miracles from Heaven, which debuted in second place on Wednesday, and Sony Classics' R-rated gymnast comedy The Bronze.

For the third week in a row we'll start with Disney's Zootopia, which dropped only 31.6% last weekend and only 30% if you don't include the $1.7 million it took in from advanced preview screenings. More impressive is the fact the film actually performed significantly better over this past Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday than it did the week prior, as it is now just shy of $160 million domestically in 13 days of release. That said, it's adding another 132 theaters this weekend (3,959 in total) and a drop anywhere from 23-31% seems most likely for a third weekend haul anywhere from $35-39.5 million.

Looking at a second place finish is the latest film in the Divergent series, Allegiant. Last year, Insurgent opened with $52.2 million, just a bit below the $54.6 million Divergent kicked off the franchise with in 2014. Of course, Insurgent had 3D ticket prices slightly inflating its numbers when compared to its predecessor. As for Allegiant, it won't be getting a 3D bump, though it is still playing in IMAX and PLF theaters.

Looking at reviews for this third installment, they are continuing the franchise's downward trend with Allegiant currently exhibiting a 13% score at RottenTomatoes. A similar trend can be seen in IMDb's user ratings for Divergent and Insurgent with the latter not only receiving nearly 200,000 fewer votes altogether, but the ratings trends in key demographics are not favorable. As far as what that means for this opening weekend, the range appears to be around $30-35 million. The film will have Thursday previews starting at 7PM this evening, which will give us our first indication of how it is performing when compared to the $4.9 million Divergent brought in from previews in 2014 and the $4.1 million Insurgent took in last year.

Next is Sony and Affirm's faith-based drama Miracles from Heaven, which is looking to take advantage of the lead up to Easter weekend to score at the box office. Starring Jennifer Garner, the film brought in $1.88 million from its Wednesday opening, which is about half of Heaven is for Real's opening day in 2014. Heaven is for Real, however, opened the Wednesday before Easter while Miracles is looking to build word of mouth by opening a week earlier, and the "A+" CinemaScore suggests the plan is firmly underway.

The only thing that could hurt Miracles is the fact Zootopia takes a large portion of its family demographic. However, "hurt" may be the wrong word as that same audience is what will help the film's performance over the coming weeks as more and more kids begin spring break. Definitely working in the film's favor is co-star Eugenio Derbez, who's mostly known for his work in several popular Mexican television shows, but has also found success at the domestic box office as the star of 2013's Instructions Not Included, which opened with $7.8 million in just 348 theaters. All told, expect Miracles from Heaven to finish the weekend between $11-15 million.

The last of the weekend's new wide releases is The Bronze, an R-rated comedy starring Melissa Rauch ("The Big Bang Theory") as a foul-mouthed former Olympic gymnast. Sony Classics is releasing the film in 1,167 theaters and it's difficult to predict just how well it will do, though the 23% rating at RottenTomatoes doesn't bode well.

Looking at the holdovers, it will be interesting to see how 10 Cloverfield Lane performs following its $24.7 million opening weekend. In looking for a comparable title, last year's The Visit seems strong enough as it also received a "B-" CinemaScore, opened with $25.4 million and faced a young adult title in its second weekend in the form of Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. As such, The Visit dropped 54.5% on its way to a solid $65.2 million run. Mojo is predicting a slightly better, 46-50% second weekend drop for Cloverfield Lane, finishing the weekend around $12-13 million.

Deadpool will round out the top five, adding another $7-8 million to its overall haul as it will be surpassing Guardians of the Galaxy's $333.1 million domestic haul to become the second highest grossing superhero origin movie of all time.

Elsewhere, look for The Brothers Grimsby and The Young Messiah to battle it out for ninth and tenth positions.

In limited release, Warner Bros. brings Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special to five theaters; A24 is releasing Krisha into two theaters; and Fox International is releasing El Clan into three theaters as well as the new Bollywood release Kapoor & Sons - Since 1921 into 144.

Finally, while it appeared Paramount had finalized Anomalisa's run a week ago, the film is heading back into theaters this week after a one week hiatus and they're going much wider, releasing it into 573 theaters nationwide.

Projections for this weekend are below. Stay tuned as we'll be updating this post tomorrow morning with Allegiant's Thursday preview numbers and on Saturday morning with Friday estimates.

  • Zootopia (3,959 theaters) - $38.51 M
  • The Divergent Series: Allegiant (3,740 theaters) - $31.42 M
  • Miracles from Heaven (3,047 theaters) - $12.65 M
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane (3,427 theaters) - $12.6 M
  • Deadpool (2,924 theaters) - $7.11 M
  • London Has Fallen (3,011 theaters) - $6.18 M
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2,079 theaters) - $2.75 M
  • The Perfect Match (925 theaters) - $2.1 M
  • The Young Messiah (1,769 theaters) - $1.78 M
  • The Brothers Grimsby (2,235 theaters) - $1.76 M

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.

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