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Nobody could have expected that Zootopia would do as well as it has in theaters. We’re not disputing the fact that Disney is a bona fide box office giant, but the film has defied even the most generous expectations to become a worldwide phenomenon. The simple story of a fox and a rabbit took on an insanely mature allegorical meaning, and elevated the film beyond many of the lowbrow animated features that have hit theaters lately. We’ve reported extensively on Zootopia’s immense financial success, but its latest accolade is by far its most impressive.
A new report from Forbes has really put the insane financial success of Zootopia into perspective. According to this report, the film has become the second highest grossing original film of all time – coming in second to James Cameron’s now legendary Avatar. With a worldwide gross of $991 million, it’s slowly but surely inching towards the highly coveted $1 billion mark that so many films often shoot for.
Of course, there are certain caveats that make this accolade possible. The term "original film" means that Zootopia is not an adaptation, a sequel, a reboot, or a spinoff from any existing property or franchise, or an historical event (like Titanic). Without these conditions, certain animated features like Toy Story 3 and Frozen have still out grossed Zootopia by a sizeable margin, and it still hasn’t come anywhere near catching up to major franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe or The Dark Knight trilogy. All that being said, we simply cannot ignore how impressive it is that a modest animated feature released in early spring has performed so well.
The success of Zootopia can largely be traced back to the maturity with which it treats its subject matter. Sure, it’s a laugh riot, and sure, it’s got an amazing soundtrack with an admittedly catchy song by Shakira, but it’s the way it allegorically tackles major real world issues that really caught our eyes. The film approaches themes of bigotry, racism, and equality in a way that’s easily understandable for kinds and adults alike, and preaches a message that just about everyone can get behind.
With the incredible success of Zootopia, we hope that Disney continues to produce animated features that tackle incredibly mature topics with an irreverent, yet respectful tone. We here at Cinema Blend will keep you posted regarding the continuing financial success of Zootopia as more information becomes available to us. Stay tuned for more details!