Zootopia, Disney Studios’ 55th animated feature, just passed the one billion dollar mark according to USA Today. It’s due out on Blu-Ray and DVD on Tuesday, June 5, despite the fact it’s still playing in some theaters.
Only four animated films have earned one billion dollars globally: Frozen, Minions, Toy Story 3, and now Zootopia. Of those four, three were Disney cartoons. Of the 26 films that have earned one billion dollars, Disney made 11 of them. Zootopia is the number one animated film of 2016 thus far.
As of Sunday afternoon, Zootopia had earned 4.4 million dollars this weekend, and the weekend isn’t over yet. It will probably earn more before Monday morning.
Director Richard Moore called the idea of earning a billion dollars “mind-blowing.”
“I cannot imagine a billion of anything. A billion is such a big number. When we were making the film, I was thinking that I hope the audience loves this world like we do and it really connects with people. To see it happening like this is really gratifying.”
The Hollywood Reporter said Zootopia has grossed $337.2 million domestically and $662.8 million internationally.
Like any creative project, Zootopia changed immensely from its initial concept to the time it appeared in the theaters. Originally, fox con artist Nick Wilde was supposed to be the main character instead of bunny rabbit Police Officer Judy Hopps.
The leader of Zootopia was going to be a sow rather than a lion, Mayor Swinton.
Before script changes made them irrelevant, the Gerbil Jerks were supposed to be in the movie. They now appear in a Blu-Ray bonus feature.
Other deleted characters include the Razorbacks, a special forces team, Old Goat, and a sheep named Wooly.
Judy Hopps is part of a new and welcome trend at Disney: female characters who aren’t damsels in distress. Judy, despite her size and being from a traditionally prey species, wants to be a police officer, a job normally reserved for predator species and larger animals. (The chief of police is an African cape buffalo and the police dispatcher is a cheetah.) She doesn’t sing about her dreams and wishes; she works hard to make her dreams a reality.
Merida in Brave fought for the right to choose her own spouse, or to remain unwed until she was ready.
“I’ll be shooting for my own hand.”
Black Widow may not have as many toys or other merchandise as the other Avengers, as noted by The Mary Sue, but she can outfight any of her teammates.
Anna, the princess in Frozen, may have made mistakes due to her youth, but she bravely went out to rescue her sister and her kingdom.
The new Star Wars films feature women in combat and politics: Rey and Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mon Mothma and Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Maleficient featured a strong, powerful fairy who fought for revenge when she was betrayed.
Inside Out focused on Riley, a young girl, and Joy, and Sadness, female personifications of her emotions.
Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass features an Alice who does far more than obey signs that say “eat me” and “drink me.”
Linda Woolverton explained how she fought to make Belle in Beauty and the Beast (now being remade as a live-action movie starring Emma Watson) independent, so Belle did more than sit around and wait to be rescued. The Mary Sue concluded that Belle paved “the way for other ‘Disney princess’ characters who came after her.”
Characters that weren’t necessarily waiting around for their own prince to come along and rescue them from their lives–and we have writers like Woolverton to thank for it.
Judy Hopps follows in that tradition: a tough, intelligent female who makes mistakes and learns from them, not a “spunky girl” sidekick, but a strong heroine in her own right.
Zootopia is the second Disney movie to earn over a billion dollars in 2016, after Captain America:Civil War.
[Image via Disney Studios]