Seriously you guys, we thought 2015 was a great year at the box office, but 2016 hit the ground running. Disney’s Zootopia premiered in theaters last week to nearly universal critical acclaim, and audiences seem to have listened. The animated feature easily and definitively won the box office during its opening weekend. However, beyond merely garnering the number one spot, the tale of Nick Wilde and Judy Hopp also set an all-time box office record for Disney animation.
A new report from ComicBook.com indicates that Zootopia’s $73.7 million opening weekend box office debut makes it the best ever opening for Disney animation. Prior to the release of Zootopia, Disney's animated superhero feature Big Hero 6 held the three-day record with $56 million. Behind that, Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled both came in with roughly $50 million during their respective opening weekends.
In case you’re wondering where Frozen is on that list, it actually didn’t premiere to very much money at all back in 2013. The now legendary tale of Elsa and Anna premiered to a paltry $250,000 in a single theater, but then went on to garner close to $67 million the following week when it experienced a wide release.
Outside the realm of Disney movies, Zootopia managed to break yet another record as well. Over the course of its three-day premiere it managed to dethrone the previous record holder for highest grossing animated March premiere, The Lorax, which hit theaters in 2012. Eat your heart out, Dr. Seuss.
What makes this accomplishment even more impressive is the fact that Zootopia managed to do something no other movie has been able to accomplish in the last three weeks. Disney’s Zootopia actually took down Deadpool, which had recently gone on to become not only the highest grossing R-rated comic book movie of all time, but managed to garner numerous other records during its short run.
One of the major reasons for Zootopia’s success is the way in which it tells a story that both adults and kids can emotionally invest in. It doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator – looking at you, Norm of the North – and it still tells a mature story through the eyes of the film’s most optimistic character, Judy Hopps.
We will keep you posted on Zootopia’s success as it continues to rake in the millions. The latest animated Disney features is currently in theaters, but based on the movie’s financial performance in such a short amount of time you probably have already seen it. If you haven’t, then be sure to grab the kids and head to your local theater right now, it’s worth it.