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411 Box Office Report: Kung Fu Panda Dominates For #1

January 31, 2016 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

There was no questioning who was coming out atop the box office this weekend, as Kung Fu Panda 3 dominated the competition. The latest film in DreamWorks Animation’s hit franchise scored $41 million to rule the roost by a large margin. The opening figure is below the $60.2 million for the first film and the $47.7 million of the second, in part due to the new entry’s not screening on late Thursday night and in part due to the general lower audiences of January films compared to the other two films’ summer release.

Even with a slightly lower opening, Kung Fu Panda 3 is putting a smile on DreamWorks executives’ faces. The film scored well with critics (80% on RT) and audiences (an A CinemaScore), meaning that word of mouth should provide with good week-to-week holds. The previous two films made most of their money overseas and Panda 3 will as well. Domestically it should close with around $150 million. The budget was $145 million.

While Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Revenant was knocked out of the #1 spot, it didn’t fall much in its sixth weekend. The Alejandro González Iñárritu-directed brought in $12.4 million, bringing its totals to $138.2 million domestically and #247.7 million worldwide. The film is enjoying strong holds after its Oscar buzz and will likely finish with around $160 million in the US. The budget was $135 million.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens also eased down, adding another $10.8 million (down just 23%). The Star Wars saga film has now lifted its totals to $895.4 million domestically and $1.983 billion worldwide; it will cross the $900 million mark by mid-week. The budget was $200 million.

The first of the non-animated new releases came in at #4 with very unfortunate numbers. The Finest Hours mustered up $10.3 million for its opening weekend, which is below the mid- to high teens that analysts expected and well below what Disney needed for this to be a hit. The film’s profit problems were always big: period oceanic films don’t do well and this one had three stars — Chris Pine, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster — who are either inconsistent or unproven in carrying a film financially.

Disney marketed the film around the true story aspect, but that didn’t work for In the Heart of the Sea and it didn’t play here either. Audiences liked it fine with an A- CinemaScore, though critics were much more lukewarm (59%). The big problem is the heavy $80 million budget that Disney will have problems making back. The film won’t be likely to make it past $28 million in the US.

On the other hand, Ride Along 2 is rolling along just fine. After a rough drop last week, the Kevin Hart/Ice Cube held on much better for a two-point slide to #5 with $8.3 million. The movie is now at $70.8 million domestically and $88.6 million worldwide; expect this one to finish with around $88 million to $90 million at this point from a budget of $40 million.

The most impressive of the holdovers was Lauren Cohan’s horror film The Boy, which was down just a spot to #6 in its second weekend for $7.9 million. That makes for an incredibly impressive 27% second-weekend fall, way lower than most horror entries do. The film is now up to $21.5 million in the US and at this point could hit as high as $35 million to $40 million. It’s going to be a money maker with a budget of just $10 million.

Dirty Grandpa also held well, down 37% with $7.6 million to #7 in its second weekend. The Robert DeNiro/Zac Efron comedy brought its total to $22.8 million. It will probably end up around $35 million to $40 million, which will be a decent hit based on the $11.5 million budget.

Chloe Grace Moretz’ The 5th Wave finished up the strong second-weekend drops, finishing at #8 with $7 million. That’s a much-needed bit of good news for this film after its very disappointing opening weekend, which it slipped only 32% from. The sci-fi adult dystopia film is still fighting a losing battle though; it’s up to $20.2 million and $65.3 million from a $35 million budget, but it will need more strong holds for the studio to consider continuing the planned series.

Spoof film Fifty Shades of Black was (mercifully) DOA, opening at #9 with $6.2 million. Most expected the movie to hit the low teens range, but audiences had little interest in this poorly-marketed, poorly-conceived mess. The opening is the lowest spoof film opening for Marlon Wayans yet and the abysmal reviews (13%) and terrible CinemaScore (C+) means it will face quickly. Expect little more than $18 million to $20 million. It may make a profit from its $5 million budget, but it won’t be a win on Wayans’ record.

Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi was down three spots to #10 with $6 million, a good 30% hold. The war action-drama sits at $42.6 million domestically and $44.1 million worldwide. It is on par for around $65 million in the US. The budget was $50 million.

The weekend box office was a solid $136.3 million, up 33% from last year’s $102.35 million. Last year was led by American Sniper’s third weekend of $30.7 million.

Next weekend sees a few box office risks open up, as horror comedy Pride & Prejudice & Zombies faces off with the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! and romantic drama The Choice. Oh, and a little thing called the Super Bowl, which traditionally makes for one of the lowest box office weekends of the year.

Note: Numbers include Sunday estimates and are three-day estimates. A studio recoups 55% of a film’s grosses on average, meaning it needs to approximately double its budget to be profitable during its theatrical run.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Numbers)
1. Kung Fu Panda 3 – $40.1 million ($40.1 million total)
2. The Revenant – $12.4 million ($138.2 million total)
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $10.8 million ($895.4 million total)
4. The Finest Hours – $10.3 million ($10.3 million total)
5. Ride Along 2 – $8.3 million ($70.8 million total)
6. The Boy – $7.9 million ($21.5 million total)
7. Dirty Grandpa – $7.6 million ($22.8 million total)
8. The 5th Wave – $7 million ($20.2 million total)
9. Fifty Shades of Black – $6.2 million ($6.2 million total)
10. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – $6 million ($42.6 million total)

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