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Friday Estimates: Panda Buries Caesar

February 6th, 2016

Kung Fu Panda 3

Kung Fu Panda 3 will easily win the race for top spot at the weekend box office. Not only did it earn first place on Friday with $5.2 million, but of all of the wide releases, it will be among the least affected by Super Bowl Sunday. Unfortunately, this is still a little lower than predicted and it will likely only earn just over $20 million over the weekend. Its worldwide total is closing in on its production budget and it has barely started its international run, so there’s plenty of reason for DreamWorks to be happy, and there’s justification for another installment in the franchise.

Hail, Caesar! is the only one of the new wide releases to do well, earning $4.31 million on Friday. Sadly, while its reviews are 79% positive, the film is earning a C- from CinemaScore and that will hurt its word of mouth. Add in the Super Bowl, and the film will likely earn an opening weekend haul of $11 million, exactly as predicted. That’s not a bad start for a film that cost $22 million to make. However, it will still need to find an audience internationally and / or on the home market to break even.

The other two new releases struggled, to put it mildly. The Choice managed 3rd place with $2.48 million, but that was still lower than expected. Granted, its target audience is likely not at all interested in the Super Bowl, but it will still be the worst opening for a Nicholas Sparks movie with $6 million. I’m not sure if studios will be interested in adapting another one of his novels in the near future.

It turns out internet buzz wasn’t enough for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, as it flopped with just $2.04 million on Friday. The genre, the reviews, and the Super Bowl will all hurt its internal multiplier, resulting in an opening weekend of just under $5 million. Unless the film is a big hit internationally or becomes a cult favorite on the home market, there’s no way it will break even any time soon.

On a more positive note, with a $1.76 million daily box office, Star Wars: The Force Awakens reached $900 million on Friday, making it the first film to reach nine digits nine times over domestically. It did so during its 50th day of release. To put this into perspective, the previous record for Fastest to $650 million was 58 days. Only four films reached $450 million faster than this film reached $900 million. This is the last milestone for the film, at least domestically. It should cross $2 billion worldwide sometime today.

- Friday Box Office

- Kung Fu Panda 3 comparisons
- Hail, Caesar! comparisons
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comparisons
- The Choice comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Kung Fu Panda 3, Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens, The Choice, Hail, Caesar!, Kung Fu Panda, Nicholas Sparks