"Zootopia" "Zootopia"

The numbers are negligible, but the symbolism is nice. More than four years after its first release, Disney’s Zootopia is back at the top of the box office, having grossed all of $280,000 over the weekend. The Oscar-winning feature now boasts a lifetime domestic total of around $341.5 million.

Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) came second last weekend with $260,000. Universal’s Trolls World Tour, which premiered simultaneously online and in theaters in April, was the only other animated feature in the top ten, coming in seventh with $138,000. (All grosses are estimated three-day takings.) According to Deadline, some 1,100 of the exhibition sector’s 5,900 theaters are running, with drive-ins still doing better business than traditional venues.

When Trolls World Tour and Scoob! were released online during the lockdown, bypassing the theatrical window, executives made the case that audiences currently want the kind of light-hearted entertainment that animated family films provide. Zootopia’s success, however modest, affirms that narrative.

The top ten was dominated by relatively feel-good fare: comedies, family movies, and superhero flicks, new and old alike. This was the first weekend in the pandemic in which Disney re-released catalog titles — aside from Zootopia and The Avengers, Disney-20th Century’s The Greatest Showman took fourth place with $170,000.

Surges in coronavirus cases in many states have dashed hopes that exhibition would fully reopen in July. Key cities like New York and L.A. have yet to allow theaters to resume business, and major chains including AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas have postponed their planned reopenings to the very end of the month. Tenet and Mulan, the two tentpole films that were supposed to herald cinemas’ return this month, are now due to launch in August.

In a recent survey, we found that almost 80% of Cartoon Brew readers aren’t planning to visit a cinema this summer.

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