What animated film can beat ‘Zootopia’ at the 2016 box office?

Disney’s ‘Zootopiahas crossed the $1 billion mark. One animated flick may gross even more this year.

Their own mammal metropolis isn’t the only place Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps have won over; the bunny-and-fox duo have also dominated the world, with Disney’s Zootopia reaching the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office earlier this week.

It’s the top-earning animated feature of 2016 thus far, well on its way to making twice as much as Kung Fu Panda 3, which is at #2 among animated films this year.

Will Zootopia be king of the 2016 jungle? Or can another animated flick top it?

Box office experts agree: Finding Dory is likely to surpass Zootopia’s $1 billion+ to become the top-earning animated movie of 2016.

A small, unscientific poll of mine also shows that for parents, Finding Dory is the most-anticipated animated film yet to be released this year. It is the most-often mentioned movie from the handful of parent bloggers I emailed asking what animated film they and their kids are most looking forward to. “My family and I are eager to see Finding Dory this month because Finding Nemo is one of our favorites, including just about every Disney Pixar movie too,” Amy Bellgardt, creator of MomSpark.net and mother of two boys told me via email.

Outside of superhero fare, 2016 has thus far been a rough year for franchises, with audiences turning rather anti-sequel, or perhaps having no tolerance for sequels that just aren’t much good. Zoolander 2, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and Divergent Series: Allegiant have all flopped. Kung Fu Panda 3 wasn’t a total failure, but it has somewhat underperformed, earning less than each of the two other films in the franchise.

But as David Mumpower of Box Office Prophets told us via email, “2016’s anti-sequel consumer behavior shouldn’t impact Finding Dory.”

For seven years, Finding Nemo reigned as Pixar’s highest grossing film, until Toy Story 3 came along. Last year’s Inside Out is the only other film from the studio to surpass Nemo’s box office tally. It still stands as the seventh highest-grossing animated movie of all time at the worldwide box office.

Finding Nemo remains one of Pixar’s most beloved films, frequently topping or nearly topping both fan and critic rankings of the studio’s movies, so Finding Dory will bring the solid established audience not only of Pixar devotees but also fans of Nemo especially.

With Finding Dory coming out 13 years after Nemo, it’s not quite at the point where there’s a sizable number of people who saw it as kids who now have kids of their own to take to the movies — as was the case with The Lion King’s massively successful 2011 re-release — but “it’s pretty close,” Bruce Nash, founder and publisher of The Numbers, pointed out.

Finding Dory topping Zootopia’s gross would make the Pixar sequel the fifth animated movie to cross the $1 billion mark after Toy Story 3, Frozen, Minions, and Zootopia.

The creators of those animation box office champions all have new films coming out this year: Disney’s got Zootopia and Moana. Disney•Pixar has Finding Dory opening a week from now. And Illumination Entertainment, the makers of Minions and the Despicable Me movies, will release The Secret Life of Pets next month.

Secret Life is a kind of Toy Story for dogs and cats and bunnies, showing us what goofy antics our pets are up to when we’re not looking. Zootopia proved that another non-sequel, original concept could join Frozen in the $1 billion club, albeit with the proven brand recognition of Disney.

“Secret Life of Pets can also be a success mid-summer, although $1 billion is too much to expect from it,” Gitesh Pandya of Box Office Guru said via email.

Just how much will Secret Life’s family relations to Minions boost its box office success? It’ll help, though the box office experts I consulted have divergent thoughts about just how much it’ll help.

Secret Life’s invocation of the film’s connection to Illumination’s uber-popular little yellow guys with the words “from the humans behind Despicable Me” is, according to Mumpower, “one of the strongest marketing slogans imaginable right now. Putting that note in the trailer spikes the box office dramatically.”

Meanwhile, Pandya said, “Tapping into the Minions fan base is a smart starting point,” and Nash said efforts to make mainstream audiences aware of the Minions connection “won’t make a huge deal of difference.”

Nash also noted that DreamWorks Animation wasn’t able to translate the popularity of its Shrek films into success for the movies that followed the first couple of Shrek installments. How to Train Your Dragon and the Madagascar franchise is where DreamWorks later found box office success, though the four Shrek movies still top the animation studio’s list of highest grossing films.

Though Mumpower has confidence in the power of Secret Life’s link to Minions, he added, “I suspect that Secret Life of Pets would have succeeded if it had come first [among Illumination’s films]. The attachment humans have for their pets fosters continued interest in such concepts, and this movie in particular has a terrific ad campaign. The prim [poodle] rocking out to heavy metal is a perfect animated comedy gag.”

Universal Studios, which is distributing the film, is tapping into that dog-lover and cat-lover audience with a huge partnership with PetSmart.

Looking back at Zootopia, what accounted for its success? It was a film praised by both critics and audiences, and it had a long stretch of time without any competition from other family movies.* Moana has the strong potential to find success for similar reasons, along with the Disney brand recognition. It hits theaters on Thanksgiving weekend, following Trolls’ early November opening and ahead of the Christmas week premiere of Sing, Illumination Entertainment’s movie about animals in an American Idol-esque competition. So Moana doesn’t have quite as much space to itself as Zootopia did, but it’s safe to bet it’ll be the reigning animated movie of the holiday season. Moana, ostensibly introducing the House of Mouse’s first Polynesian princess, features music by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Nash does not expect Miranda’s involvement to be a box office boost in and of itself, despite the massive popularity of Miranda’s Hamilton. Disney musicals are already recognized for their quality tunes, so the film already has its draw for the music (which we may be hearing for the first time in the trailer set to hit the web this Sunday).

‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR’ ECLIPSES ‘ZOOTOPIA’ ON BOX OFFICE! WILL ‘ZOOTOPIA 2’ COVER UP?

Captain America: Civil War” has done the impossible by breaking the record set by Disney’s “Zootopia in terms of Worldwide Box Office. The superhero flick has managed to surpass the overall collection of “Zootopia” within a few days of its worldwide release.

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OOTOPIA 2’ COVER UP?

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‘Captain America: Civil War’ Eclipses ‘Zootopia’ On Box Office! Will ‘Zootopia 2’ Cover Up?
“Captain America: Civil War” has done the impossible by breaking the record set by Disney’s “Zootopia” in terms of Worldwide Box Office. The superhero flick has managed to surpass the overall collection of “Zootopia” within a few days of its worldwide release.

This achievement has added yet another feather in Marvel Studios’ hat and has bagged another accolade for the production house. If the statistics revealed by Box Office Mojo is to be believed, this third Captain America installment has now broken another record by surpassing “Zootopia” for the number 1 spot on the global charts. “Civil War” has reportedly churned out $971.9 million on global box office.

On the contrary, “Zootopia” managed to make $971.3 million, thus, losing the trophy by a small margin to “Civil War.” With this, “Captian America: Civil War” is on its verge to become the first release of 2016 to cross the $1 billion mark, Screen Rant reported. In addition to this feat, the flick may also become the fourth one to taste this sweet success. The only other two flicks to achieve this are: “Avengers movies” and “Iron Man 3”.

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Considering the fact that “Civil War” is on a record breaking spree, it is surely set to become the phenomenal hit of the year. However, the popularity of “Zootopia” cannot be undermined in any circumstances. Disney’s “Zootopia” is the biggest film from the house and has been a bigger hit than its counterparts, including the successful “Big Hero 6.”

However, “Captain America: Civil War” is not the only superhero flick to impress in 2016. “Deadpool” and “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” are the other two films to cast a spell on the audience. While, “Deadpool” that released in February, became the largest R-rated film of all-time, according to Screen Rant. Zack Snyder’s “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” also managed to sail on the box office despite drawing some flack. “Deadpool” managed to rake in $762.4 million, even without 3D and a ban in China, and “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” earned $870.1 million in all.

FAN-MADE ZOOTOPIA WEBCOMIC TAKES THE STORY FURTHER

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Disney’s Zootopia is arguably the studios’ biggest animated hit since Frozen, and justifiably so — the film is wonderful, and although the term “instant classic” is thrown around rather loosely these days, Zootopia happens to be just that. The movie — which revolves around anthropomorphic animals living together in a giant metropolis — works on so many levels that you can fall in love with its characters and world for one reason if you’re five years old, and quite another reason if you’re thirty.

Now the movie’s fans are beginning to show their love for all things Zootopia. There’s already a Facebook community for Zootopians, where fans can post their own art and ponder whether or not Mr. Otterton was cheating on Mrs. Otterton at the animal nudist colony and other aspects of his double life (yes, really).

Of course, the timeless way some fandoms celebrate the thing they love can be found there, too… I’m talking about good old-fashioned fan fiction. One artist in Korea created a webcomic featuring main characters Judy the bunny and Nick the fox that serves as a kind of sequel to the events of the movie. Although I have to say, they took it in a decidedly darker direction than I think Disney ever would (and mind you, the actual Zootopia deals with some pretty adult themes already).

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Although the webcomic was originally written in Korean, thankfully another fan managed to translate the whole thing into English. You can see the entire English translation of the further adventures of Judy and Nick right here, or check it out in our gallery below. And by all means, if you haven’t seen Zootopia yet, what are you waiting for? Seriously, it’s that good. Go see it.

What do you Zootopia fans think of this webcomic? Is it a worthy successor till the inevitable Zootopia 2 hits theaters? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

5 Reasons Zootopia Is Still Making A Fortune At The Box Office

For the past three weekends, Disney’s Zootopia has ruled the box office roost, bringing in a surprising amount of moviegoers and box office dollars. Sure, it’s one of Disney’s best films in the past decade or so, but it’s safe to assume that nobody thought the story of a rabbit and a fox cracking down on crime would be such an off season juggernaut. Which asks the question of how exactly this came to be, a question that we intend to answer five times over. Here now are the five reasons we think Zootopia has been the apex predator of the cinematic food chain.

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There’s A Lack Of Competition For Family Box Office
If The Little Prince had maintained its March 18th release date, you might have seen a bit of competition standing against Disney’s Zootopia. But with no other children’s films to speak of, and the law of diminishing returns ravaging The Divergent Series: Allegiant’s opening weekend, Zootopia has had no problem dispatching of monsters, bumbling spies, and any other upstart that’s tried to take the crown. With a film like this guaranteeing at least double the ticket money, when factoring in one parent into the equation, Zootopia couldn’t help but be a hit. Though it helps that the adults are enamored with the film’s style as well.

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There’s Too Many Gags To Catch In One Viewing
You can’t write off Zootopia as strictly a children’s film, no matter how many times you try. Part of the reason that the film crosses over so well with adult audiences is the fact that the film has so many jokes to catch up with. Between the gags sprinkled in the dialogue, as well as the easter eggs and sight gags that are more accessible to everyone, there’s a lot to take in while laughing. So, of course, some intrepid viewers have probably seen Zootopia a good three or four times in order to catch something a friend of theirs noticed.

How Disney Fixed a Huge Mistake With Zootopia, Just One Year Before Release

In November 2014, the team behind Disney’s Zootopia had a very bad day. After years of development and production, they realized a huge aspect of their movie didn’t work. There were two main characters, one primary and one secondary— and they had to be flipped for the film to make sense.

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In Zootopia, which hits theaters March 4, a young bunny named Judy Hopps leaves home for a job as a police officer in the big city of the title. There, she must team up with a con-man fox named Nick Wilde to solve a crime. Nick, voiced by Jason Bateman, is jaded, sarcastic, and believes everyone is exactly who they are. Judy, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, is exactly the opposite. She’s cheery, optimistic and believes anyone can be whatever they want.

For years, Nick was the focus on the film, with Hopps playing a crucial, but secondary role. But on that fateful November day, a little over a year before the film’s release, director Byron Howard realized they had to make the switch.

“We’re telling a story about bias, and when you have the Nick character starting the movie, through his eyes the city was already broken,” Howard said. “He didn’t like Zootopia.”

Hopps, on the other hand, did. She loved it. And suddenly, everything became obvious.

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“We asked ‘What are we saying with the movie?’ If we’re telling this movie about bias—something that is everywhere and in all of us, whether we want to admit it or not—the character that’s going to help us tell that message is Judy, an innocent, [who comes] from a very supportive environment where she thinks everyone is beautiful, everyone gets along,” Howard said. “Then let Nick, this character who knows the truth about the world, bop up against her and they start to educate each other. When we flipped that, it was a major flip, but it worked so much better.”

In retrospect, the flip may seem like the most simple thing ever. Have the positive character be the main one. But the reason something like that doesn’t happen immediately is that movies like Zootopia happen in an insanely organic, fluid way. When the film was first pitched, for example, there wasn’t much more than the idea of talking animals living together in a city. There was no story, no characters, just an idea, followed by an approval, and then the research begins. The hope is, through this research process, a story is arrived at organically, which is what happened.

It started with looking at animals behaviors, futuristic ideas for cities, and then a trip to Africa lit up a figurative lightbulb. “We looked at this situation around the watering hole,” Howard said. “Predators and prey are behaving because they both need something, water, and everyone’s cool. They’re kind of looking at each other cautiously, but people are behaving. That’s very much like our city. People are different in cities, and they have to get together to live, and what does that mean?”

“Even when Nick was the main character, Hopps kept pushing through,” said head of editorial, Fabienne Rawley. “She’s the character she is. She just kept being the main character. And we kept saying that we wanted Nick to be the main character. And sort of because of that, forcing a round peg in a square hole sort of thing, she just came through. And finally we’re like, ‘Fine! Go do it.’ So then you start again.”

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For a normal person, changing and scrapping so much hard work would probably be seen as a huge defeat. But this is Disney and, according to the people there, everyone embraced it

“We knew it was going to be a lot of work, but immediately hearing the idea no one said like, ‘Oh no! I’ve got to keep this thing.’ It was very much the opposite,” said co-director Jared Bush. “It was ‘This is really exciting. This is going to help the movie immeasurably. We just need to execute it, and we’re running out of time to do it.’ But it’s an amazing opportunity to make this movie really special.”

In changing the movie, Howard, Bush, Rawley and others found that they were better able to incorporate the film’s message of inclusion and harmony, along with a satisfying story.

“We never wanted this to be a message movie,” said Howard. “We always wanted it to be this great piece of entertainment, great emotion, great storytelling, but it’s never, ever supposed to be in-your-face with the message of the movie. Just letting Judy learn that and seeing her progress grow and grow, it became sort of a personal story between the two of them and helped us in a huge way.”

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The other thing that helped in a huge way—especially when in executing such a major change—was adding Rich Moore as another director. When Zootopia was starting production, Moore was working on his own movie, Wreck-It Ralph, which was released in 2012. He then went to work on something we won’t see for several years, before his phone rang with the head of Disney Pictures, John Lasseter, asking him to come on board.

“When you’re in production for years, there are these kind of gear shifts that you can feel,” Moore said. “‘Okay, that’s ramping up. It’s going up another level.’ And [Zootopia] was just ready to go up another one. It was like jumping onto a fast-moving train.”

Moore’s main task at the beginning was helping Howard manage all the changes that switching lead characters from Nick to Judy meant for the movie as a whole, and Howard was happy for the help.

 

“It’s great to have partners on these films,” Howard said. “It’s great to have someone to do a gut check with.”

Oddly, while everyone making Zootopia has no problem balancing and checking each other, even when it becomes incredibly difficult, the president of Disney Animation Andrew Millstein claimed there’s one place they never ever look to make sure they’re on the right track.

“Well, we really don’t follow the competition all that much,” Millstein said. “When Byron and Jared wanted to make this film, talking animals in an animal world, we didn’t say, ‘Oh, Blue Sky is making that, Illumination is making one.’ There are so many ways to tell a talking-animal story, and what better challenge is there to differentiate yourself from whatever anybody else is making? So our standard is really a self-referential standard, cause we want to make it great. And let the chips fall where they may.”