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Weekend estimates: Kung Fu Panda posts solid $41 million

January 31st, 2016

Kung Fu Panda 3

Kung Fu Panda 3 is making a solid start domestically this weekend with Fox projecting a $41 million debut. That’s the weakest start for any film in the franchise, behind the $47.7 million opening of Kung Fu Panda 2, and Kung Fu Panda’s $60.2 million back in 2008. The downward trend is in large part explained by the January release of the third movie, compared to June and May for the previous two. In fact, it still technically has a shot at having the best first weekend for a film in January, a record currently held by Ride Along with $41.5 million, although American Sniper really has bragging rights, with $89.3 million when it expanded wide last year. More importantly, Kung Fu Panda 3 opened with an estimated $57 million in China, a record for an animated film in the territory, and $75 million internationally.

Kung Fu Panda’s performance stands in stark contrast to the other wide openers. The best of those, The Finest Hours will make about $10.3 million this weekend, a big blow for a film that reportedly cost $70 million (most likely after tax rebates, if the originally-reported $85 million number is accurate). Fifty Shades of Black will scrape together $6.2 million from 2,075 venues for a 9th-place finish, which is positive riches compared to the $803,000 projected for Jane Got a Gun. The Western, headed by Natalie Portman, had a troubled production history, and Weinstein Co. pretty much abandoned it, with a release in 1,210 theaters and little marketing support.

Not all that far behind, the 2016 Oscar Shorts is recording the best opening weekend in limited release with $505,000 projected from 112 theaters. That’s the best opening weekend recorded by the Oscar Shorts in their eleven-year theatrical history. Remarkably, this presentation has recorded better total domestic box office every single year since its inception, growing from $157,415 in its first year to $2,412,493 last year. Its growth seems likely continue.

- Weekend estimates
- January weekend records
- Kung Fu Panda 3 comparisons
- Kung Fu Panda franchise history
- Oscar Shorts franchise history
The Finest Hours comparisons
Fifty Shades of Black comparisons

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Kung Fu Panda 3, Jane Got a Gun, The Finest Hours, Fifty Shades of Black, 2016 Oscar Shorts, Academy Award Short Film Nominations, Kung Fu Panda, Natalie Portman