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MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- MARCH MOVIES – 3/07/16


 
ZOOTOPIA

ZOOTOPIA

ALLEGIANT - THEO JAMES AND SHAILENE WOODLEY

ALLEGIANT - THEO JAMES AND SHAILENE WOODLEY

BATMAN V SUPERMAN - DAWN OF JUSTICE

BATMAN V SUPERMAN - DAWN OF JUSTICE

March movies: March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, but it looks like it's going to be all lion this year.       With"Zootopia"launchingthe month, "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" anchoring mid-month and "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"wrapping it all up, we're in for a boxoffice heat wave.

Last weekend saw March get off on the right foot with a record setting $73.7 million first place opening for Walt Disney Pictures' PG rated 3D animated family action adventure "Zootopia."

It's the best opening ever for a Walt Disney Animation Studios film, topping "Frozen's" debut wide weekend (Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, 2013) of $67.4 million. "Frozen" ended up grossing $400.7 million domestically and "Zootopia" looks like it could wind up doing more.

          Internationally, according to Disney, the film grossed $63.4 million, bringing its global cume to $137.1 million."'Zootopia' continued its strong run into its fourth weekend with China and Russia opening as the biggest Disney Animation or Pixar opening ever in each market and Germany and India opening as the highest grossing opening weekend ever for a Disney Animation title," Disney said.

          "As we saw last week, holds were again extremely strong across all regions. 'Zootopia' is now the highest grossing Disney Animation or Pixar release ever in Thailand, and Latin America continues its amazing run (open everywhere except Brazil) by being #1 in all territories there for the third weekend running."

          Significant territories where the film has not yet opened include:Australia (opening Mar. 17), Brazil (opening Mar. 17), Japan (opening Apr. 23), and the UK (opening Mar. 25).

          Disney said "Zootopia's" audience in the U.S. was 53 percent female and that families accounted for 73 percent of ticket sales. Key demographic groups were: 12-and-under (34 percent) and 26-to-34 (21 percent).

Directed by Byron Howard ("Tangled") & Rich Moore ("Wreck-It Ralph"), "Zootopia's" voice stars include Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman and Idris Elba.It's the story of a fugitive con artist fox and a rookie bunny cop who team up to expose a conspiracy.

Focus Features' Gramercy Pictures label and Millennium Films' R rated action crime thriller "London Has Fallen" came in second with $21.7million. Directed by Babak Najafi ("Easy Money II: Hard to Kill"), it stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman.

"As anticipated," Focus/Gramercy said, "the film resonated with an older audience, a segment that doesn't necessarily rush out opening weekend, thus encouraging us for a strong run going forward."

"Fallen's" audience, according to Focus/Gramercy, was 60 percent male and 76 percent 25-and-older.

In thissequel to the 2013 hit action thriller "Olympus Has Fallen," after the death of the British Prime Minister, his funeral becomes a target of terroristswho want to kill some of the world’s most powerful leaders, devastate the British capital and unleash a terrifying vision of the future.

The only hope of stopping themrests with the U.S.President (Eckhart), his Secret Service agent (Butler), an English MI-6 agent (Charlotte Riley) and the Vice President (Freeman).

"Olympus" opened Mar. 22, 2013 to $30.4 million and did $98.9 million domestically.

Paramount and Broadway Video's R rated adult female appeal war comedy "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" opened fourth with $7.6 million. Directed by Glenn Ficarra &John Requa, directors of "Crazy, Stupid, Love," it stars Tina Fey, Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman.

"WTF" is based on journalist Kim Barker's (Fey) book "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

20th Century Fox's R rated horror thriller "The Other Side of the Door"opened in limited release at 546 theatres to $1.2 million. Directed by Johannes Roberts ("Storage 24"), it stars Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto and Sofia Rosinsky. Like most horror films, its core audience is young women.

It's the story of a family living abroad when a tragic accident takes their young son's life. When the devastated mother learns that an ancient ritual can bring him back for a final goodbye, she visits an ancient templewhose door is a portal between two worlds. By disobeying a sacred warning to never open that door, she upsets the balance between life and death.

          Four more wide releases are heading for theatres Mar. 11. Sony Pictures Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures' R rated male appeal action comedy "The Brothers Grimsby"is directed by Louis Leterrier ("Clash of the Titans"). Starring are: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong and Isla Fisher.

          In "Grimsby,"MI6's top assassin Sebastian (Strong) has a brother,Nobby (Cohen), who's an English football hooligan from the fishing town Grimsby. Nobby's got nine kids and the most beautiful girlfriend in northern England (Rebel Wilson).

          Nobby's been trying to find Sebastian, who disappeared 28 years ago when they were adopted by different families. Now that he's finally about to reunite with his brother, what Nobby doesn't know is that Sebastian's an MI6 agentwho's on the run.

          Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot's sci-fi mystery "10 Cloverfield Lane" is from producer J.J. Abrams, producer-director of "Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens." Directed by first time feature director Dan Trachtenberg, it stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr. It should play best to young adult women.

          Awakening after a car accident, a young woman (Winstead) finds herself locked in a basement with a man (Goodman)who says he saved her life in a chemical attack and who warns her that the world outside their bunker is now uninhabitable.

          Lionsgate's R rated romantic comedy "The Perfect Match" is directed by Bille Woodruff ("Beauty Shop") and stars Terrence Jenkins, Paula Patton and Kali Hawk. It's opening at about 850 theatres and should play best to young adult women.

          Charlie (Jenkins) is a playboy who believes relationships are dead. His two best friends (Donald Faison and Robert C. Riley) bet him that if he sticks to one woman for one month, he'll become attached. Charlie denies it-- until he crosses paths with the beautiful and mysterious Eva (Cassie Ventura).

          Focus Features and 1492 Pictures' PG-13 rated drama "The Young Messiah" is directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh ("The Island") and stars Sean Bean, David Bradley and Jonathan Bailey. It's opening at about 1,600 theatres and should play best to the large faith-based adult audience. With Easter Sunday falling on Mar. 27, it could also see strong holiday driven ticket sales then.

          It's the story of Jesus at the age of seven when he and his family leave Egypt to return to Nazareth. From a childhoodperspective, it focuses on the young Jesus as his religious identity develops.

          The weekend of Mar. 18-20 will be less crowded with only two wide openings, one of which is set to attract moviegoers who enjoyed the first two episodes in its franchise.

          Summit Entertainment and Red Wagon Entertainment's PG-13 rated fantasy action adventure "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" is the third of four films in the franchise based on a trilogy of novels by Veronica Roth. Directed by Robert Schwentke ("The Divergent Series: Insurgent"), it stars Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz and Theo James.Its core audience is under-25 women.

          In this first episode in the series' two-part conclusion, Tris (Woodley) and Four (James)escape beyond the fence surrounding Chicago and wind up inthe protective custody of a mysterious high tech agency called the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.

          The franchise's first episode, "Divergent," opened Mar. 21, 2014 to $54.6 million and did $150.9 million in domestic theatres.

          Episode two, "Insurgent," opened Mar. 20, 2015 to $52.3 million and grossed $130.2 million domestically.

          TriStar Pictures' PG rated drama "Miracles From Heaven," the only wide opening going up against "Divergent," arrives in theatres Wed., Mar. 16. Directed by Patricia Riggen ("The 33"), it stars  Jennifer Garner, Brighton Sharbino and Martin Henderson. It should play best to young adult women.

          "Miracles" is based on the true story of the Beam family. When Christy (Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter's healing while seeking a solution. After Anna suffers a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds that leaves her doctors mystified, her family restored and their community inspired.

          The month will wrap up with three wide releases Mar. 25, the Friday before Easter Sunday.Warner Bros., DC Comics and RatPac Dune Entertainment's PG-13 rated 3D fantasy action adventure "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"is from "Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne and Batman; and Henry Cavill as Clark Kent and Superman. It should play best to male moviegoers.

          Hollywood handicappers are already predicting super-powerhouse grosses for "Justice" with an opening in the $120 million to $140 million range.

          Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City's formidable vigilante takes on Metropolis' modern-day savior while the world assesses what sort of hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman at war, a new threat emerges, putting mankind in greater danger than ever before.

          The last Batman franchise episode, "The Dark Knight Rises," opened July 20, 2012 to $160.9 million and did $448.1 million domestically.

          The last Superman franchise episode, "Man of Steel," opened June 14, 2013 to $116.6 million and did $291 million domestically.

          The PG-13 rated comedy "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" is from Universal Pictures, Gold Circle Films, HBO Films and Playtone. Directed by Kirk Jones ("What to Expect When You're Expecting"), it stars Nia Vardalos, John Corbett and Michael Constantine. It should play best to adult women.

          The original "MBFGW" opened Apr. 19, 2002 to $597,362 at 108 theatres, which was a very encouraging $5,531 per theatre, and expanded its run in the coming weeks. On Aug. 16, it went into 1,064 theatres with an outstanding $5.7 million, growing from there over the course of an extraordinary 52 week run. It wound up doing $241.4 million domestically.

          Paramount's PG rated family appeal animated fantasy "The Little Prince" goeswider after its limited release Mar. 18. Directed by Mark Osborne ("Kung Fu Panda"), its voice stars include Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams and Paul Rudd.

          Based on the classic by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, it's the story of The Little Girl, (voiced by Mackenzie Foy), who's introduced by aneccentric neighbor, The Aviator (Bridges), to an extraordinary world he discovered through The Little Prince (Riley Osborne). This place where anything is possible sparks a magical journey into the young girl's own imagination.

Bottom line:Winning the best picture Oscarwas, as expected,a boxoffice blessing for Open Road Films and Participant Films' R rated drama "Spotlight." It grossed $1.8 million last weekend, up 149 percent from the previous weekend. Its cume after 18 weeks is $41.6 million.