And even with such a solid opening in the states, “Kung Fu Panda 3” saw its best numbers in China, where the film reportedly brought in $57 million in its debut.
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 USA films.
“Kung Fu Panda 3” was produced by DreamWorks Animation and four-year-old Oriental DreamWorks, the joint venture founded by DWA and Chinese investors with the aim of producing mainly Chinese-themed films. The film is estimated to have garnered $116 million globally, though numbers won’t be officially released until Monday. This classification means that the film gets to avoid the quota imposed on foreign productions which led to the seventh Star Wars installment being released in China a month after its worldwide release.
This movie is also mainly targeting at Chinese kids, which is described by CNN as a fast-growing market in China.
Reviews were solid for the new film, which once again brings back the voice talents of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan.
“Kung Fu Panda 3 definitely feels like the end of a trilogy and wraps up the dragon warrior’s story in a complete and satisfying way”, IGN’s Max Nicholson said.
Marlon Wayans’ spoof Fifty Shades of Black generated only middling business at about US$6m at 2,075 locations and Natalie Portman’s oft-delayed Western Jane Got a Gun was almost invisible with less than US$1m at 1,210 screens.
Oscar contender The Revenant continues to do well with Leonardo DiCaprio’s wilderness epic pulling in $12.4 million – good enough for second place.
Among the other new wide releases in North America, “The Finest Hours”, which cost Walt Disney Studios about $80 million to make, only managed $10.3 million in ticket sales, according to Rentrak, which compiles box-office data. “The Force Awakens” added $10.9 million at the box office, and is now sitting at $895.4 million in domestic box office revenue.