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Friday, June 21, 2024

Weekend Box Office: KUNG FU PANDA 4 K.O.’s the Competition

© 2024 DreamWorks Animation L.L.C. All Rights Reserved.

Family Box Office Rules With Kung Fu Panda 4

The same family audience that kept Wonka and Migration in the Top Ten for weeks has come out in force for Dreamworks Animation’s latest, Kung Fu Panda 4, which handily shot to #1 in its opening frame. Bringing in an estimated $58.3 million for the weekend, the movie pulled down an “A-” CinemaScore and 80% positive on PostTrak (according to Deadline), alongside 69% critical and 87% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. With Mark Wahlberg starrer Arthur the King the biggest new contender next weekend, Panda will likely remain on top until the new Ghostbusters arrives on March 22.

For perspective, Dreamworks Animation’s biggest previous March opener was Monsters vs. Aliens, which brought in $59.3 million in 2009. The top animated opening for the month remains Disney’s Zootopia (2016) at $75 million. Dreamworks had a similar opening of $55 million when How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (the third film for that IP) opened in late February of 2019.

The Panda fourquel’s performance marks an uptick trend for the series, which had previously been in mild decline with each successive entry. Clearly, eight years away from theaters made the heart grow fonder. Here’s an opening weekend comparison:

  • Kung Fu Panda (2008) – $60.2 million ($215.4M domestic total)
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) – $47.6 million ($165.2M domestic total)
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) – $41.2 million ($143.5M domestic total)
  • Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024) – $58.3 million

The overall average opening for a Kung Fu Panda installment was $49.7 million, so this weekend’s performance is above par. With $1.8 billion already banked worldwide, it’s a foregone conclusion that Kung Fu Panda 4 will help the series cross the $2 billion threshold before all is said and done.

Universal and Dreamworks played it smart, keeping the overhead on this one on the lower end (a reported $85 million), as previous entries have reportedly been priced between $130 and $150 million. It’s also a general trend for Dreamworks, whose 2022 film Puss in Boots: The Last Wish had a budget reported to be as low as $90 million, while the studio itself is beginning to outsource its animation instead of producing it in-house.

Another smart move was keeping the franchise alive outside of theatricals with three different animated TV series since 2011, including the recent Netflix streaming show Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight (2022-2023) which corralled Jack Black back as lead voice. This clearly helped maintain visibility of the character for the young audiences that are this IP’s bread and butter, but let’s not forget that those who grew up with Po the panda are starting to have kids of their own by now.

Dune: Part Two Drops to Second Position

Legendary and Warner Bros.’ Dune: Part Two brought in an estimated $46 million on 4074 screens in its second 3-day frame for a second-place finish, dropping 44% and out of the top spot. That’s still higher than the first weekend of Dune: Part One, which took $41 million in its first frame back in 2021, and a lower drop since the first one fell 62% on week 2 with a $15.4 million haul. Part Two currently boasts a $157,028,000 million domestic total, handily topping the first installment’s $109.9M take.

Internationally, the film brought in an estimated $81 million on 53,775 screens over 72 overseas markets, with a 36% drop where it held over. This included the big China opening, which took in $20 million on 34,810 screens, becoming the film’s biggest market abroad, although the UK has the biggest cume with $24.8 million. The sequel currently stands at $367.5 million worldwide on a reported $190 million budget. It will open in Japan on March 15.

That’s not to say Dune won’t be able to leg it out in the coming weeks, especially with many audiences still locked out of premium theaters showing the sequel due to high demand. Premium formats like IMAX, Dolby Cinema, and even 70mm represent a reported 50% of the weekend gross. As stated last week, the Dune franchise is a comparatively underexploited cinematic property with more limited appeal than other sci-fi franchises. Yet, its drop was on the lower end for that genre. For reference, here are a few notable recent second-weekend holds on similarly expensive properties:

  • The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023) – $29 million (-35% drop)
  • Dune: Part Two (2024) – $46 million (-44% drop)
  • Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) – $63.3 million (-53% drop)
  • Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – $15.4 million (-53% drop)
  • Star Trek Beyond (2016) – $24.7 million (-58% drop)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) – $72.3 million (-59% drop)
  • Jurassic World: Dominion (2022) – $59.1 million (-59% drop)
  • War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) – $20.8 million (-63% drop)
  • Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) – $10.8 million (-63% drop)
  • The Matrix Resurrections (2021) – $3.8 million (-64% drop)
  • Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023) – $20.6 million (-66% drop)
  • Alien: Covenant (2017) – $10.6 million (-71% drop)

Other Notable Performances

Lionsgate and Blumhouse’s horror movie Imaginary took in an estimated $10 million on 3,118 screens to garner the #3 position. With a thrifty price tag of $13 million it should be well on its way to profitability as strong counter-programming to Kung Fu Panda and Dune.

Angel Studios is filling the Chosen gap with the Catholic missionary biopic Cabrini, which brought in $7,565,038 million during its debut on 2,840 screens to take the #4 spot.

A24’s female-centric neo noir Love Lies Bleeding took in $167,463 thousand on 5 screens for a $33,493K average, the highest PSA across the board for the weekend. Expect a wider rollout, especially with strong reviews (90% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:

Title Weekend Estimate % Change Locations Location Change PSA Domestic Total Week Distributor
Kung Fu Panda 4 $58,300,000.00   4,035   $14,449 $58,300,000 1 Universal
Dune: Part Two $46,000,000 -44% 4,074 3 $11,291 $157,028,000 2 Warner Bros.
Imaginary $10,000,000   3,118   $3,207 $10,000,000 1 Lionsgate
Cabrini $7,565,038   2,840   $2,664 $7,565,038 1 Angel Studios
Bob Marley: One Love $4,060,000 -45% 2,764 -626 $1,469 $89,328,000 4 Paramount Pi…
Ordinary Angels $2,030,000 -46% 2,323 -697 $874 $16,143,032 3 Lionsgate
Madame Web $1,125,000 -64% 2,015 -1,101 $558 $42,620,000 4 Sony Pictures
Migration $1,100,000 -56% 1,507 -697 $730 $125,331,000 12 Universal
YOLO $840,000   200   $4,200 $840,000 1 Sony Pictures
Wonka $600,000 -65% 1,004 -728 $598 $217,790,000 13 Warner Bros.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba—To the Hashira T… $550,000 -74% 884 -1,065 $622 $17,024,000 3 Crunchyroll
Argylle $400,000 -71% 799 -1,484 $501 $44,846,000 6 Universal
Perfect Days $300,000 -36% 241 -30 $1,245 $2,712,944 18 Neon
Poor Things $283,000 -25% 700 150 $404 $34,037,640 14 Searchlight …
Problemista $205,722 46% 20 15 $10,286 $346,658 53 A24
The Zone of Interest $195,043 -4% 534 -37 $365 $8,005,195 13 A24
Love Lies Bleeding $167,463   5   $33,493 $167,463 1 A24
Drive-Away Dolls $154,000 -85% 280 -1,998 $550 $4,948,000 3 Focus Features
The Taste of Things $130,043 -34% 130 -35 $1,000 $2,410,892 18 IFC Films
Anatomy of a Fall $117,000 $0 450 380 $260 $5,062,087 22 Neon
Anyone But You $117,000 -72% 183 -420 $639 $88,094,000 12 Sony Pictures
Oppenheimer $105,000 39% 642 189 $164 $329,258,000 34 Universal
The Holdovers $100,000 $0 617 291 $162 $20,329,000 20 Focus Features
Night Swim $91,000 -68% 197 -129 $462 $32,453,000 10 Universal
Stopmotion $26,456 -83% 76 -175 $348 $763,636 3 IFC Films
Origin $20,000 -51% 33 -7 $606 $4,780,434 14 Neon
Wish $14,000 -60% 55 -10 $255 $63,957,165 16 Walt Disney
Anselm $6,450   5   $1,290 $491,507 14 Janus Films
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