Disney’s “Zootopia” scored the fourth biggest March opening, debuting to $73.7 million over the weekend.
The animated story about a rabbit who joins the police force outstripped “Frozen,” the 2012 blockbuster that bowed to $67.4 million. With no major family film opening until “The Jungle Book” lands on April 15, “Zootopia” is well positioned to be the defacto choice for moviegoers with children for the next month. Disney did not release a budget, but most animated films cost in excess of $100 million. “Zootopia” screened in 3,827 locations.
“There’s an absence of competition,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief. “We are set up to have a big, big run.”
Overseas, where “Zootopia” has been playing for three weeks, the film added another $63.4 million to its haul, pushing its global total to $232.5 million. The film continues a sterling comeback run for Disney Animation, which had reached a creative and commercial nadir in the early aughts with the likes of “Home on the Range” and “Treasure Planet.” Since Pixar’s Ed Catmull and John Lasseter took the reins following Disney’s 2006 acquisition of their company, the animation arm has roared back to life, fielding hits such as “Frozen,” “Tangled,” and “Wreck It Ralph,” and winning Oscars.
“They brought a focus on quality,” said Hollis. “They recognize that quality is the best business plan.”