Kung Fu Panda 3, the latest in the successful animated franchise, karate-kicked all comers and raked in $41 million, according to studio estimates from Rentrak.
Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens came in No. 4 with an estimated $10.8 million as it approaches the $900 million mark in North America and $2 billion globally. Noting the absence of competition on the animated film front over the next month, Chris Aronson, Fox’s president of domestic distribution, said he expected “Kung Fu Panda 3” to have “a very long and robust domestic theatrical run”. KFP-3 was produced by DWA and Oriental DreamWorks, with backing from the China Film Group (CFG).
Fox is handling distribution of “Kung Fu Panda 3”, which grossed another $18 million from four other global markets including Russian Federation and South Korea for a worldwide opening of $116 million.
Mike Mitchell (Shrek Forever After) and Walt Dohrn directed while Jonathan Aibel (Monsters vs Aliens, Kung Fu Panda 1 to 3) and Glenn Berger (same as Aibel) wrote the animation.
Following the adventures of Po as he evolves from martial arts student to teacher, the US-Chinese production features the voices of stars Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie. The film was buoyed by critical acclaim (an 80% approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com) and audience raves (a solid A on CinemaScore).
“The Revenant” remained a solid draw in second place in its fourth weekend of wide release, thanks to its dozen Oscar nominations and DiCaprio’s star power. Despite losing 809 screens the blockbuster managed to bring in an estimated $10.8 million from 2,556 theaters, a decrease of only 23% from last weekend’s gross. The family film cost around $145 million to produce.
Disney’s The Finest Hours faced rough waters, debuting to only $10.3 million in 3,143 locations. And Ride Along 2 rounded out the top five with $8.3 million.
In other weekend debuts, Marlon Wayans’ “Fifty Shades of Black” fell on its face and could only muster a mere $6.2 million.