Kung Fu Panda 3 is set in China with the film’s lead Po, played by Jack Black, meeting his biological father before confronting an evil supernatural warrior.
Prospects are bright for China, given its status as a local co-production, which means it’s not part of the 34-title annual quota for US films.
Holdovers “The Revenant” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” took second and third place with $12.4 million and $10.8 million, respectively.
Chris Pine and Casey Affleck’s period rescue drama “The Finest Hours” tanked with only $10.3 million in its opening weekend, receiving mixed reviews (59% approval on Rotten Tomatoes), though it did earn an A- from CinemaScore audiences. The Disney movie, earning an A- CinemaScore, came in No. 3 after Panda 3 and Fox and New Regency’s The Revenant, which remains a potent player in its sixth weekend.
Meanwhile, this poster believes “it doesn’t matter whether the film is produced by China”.
And Disney’s (DIS) “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” nabbed third with $10.7 million in its seventh weekend.
Forbes notes, however, that if Kung Fu Panda 3 fails to meet box office expectations then Hollywood might have “lost its competitive edge in the world’s most strategically important box office territory”.
There’s probably a really good reason why a movie like Fifty Shades of Black makes as much as $6 million, enough for ninth place this weekend, but it’s hard to come up with anything plausible.
The Weinstein Co.’s “Jane Got a Gun”, starring Natalie Portman, brought in $803,000 in a less robust 1,210-theater opening. That film opened in May that year, rather than January.
Combined with the 44 million RMB (6.6 million dollars) it has earned in its limited preview run last Saturday, the Panda movie has scored one of the biggest animated film box office debuts in the history of China’s mainland.
The Big Short crossed the $100-M mark at the worldwide box office over the weekend, finishing Sunday with $60.9-M domestically and $41.8-M overseas.