Box office hits and misses: Kung Fu Panda 3 wins as Star Wars crosses $2 billion

Star Wars The Force Awakens
The third installment of the Kung Fu Panda franchise continued to kick around in theaters with its second weekend atop the box-office charts, but it wasn’t this week’s winner or even any new releases that generated the most buzz.

Already the most successful film of all time domestically, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens took its place among Hollywood’s truly elite box-office blockbusters with weekend earnings that put it past the $2 billion mark worldwide. J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi sequel is now one of only three films to earn more than $2 billion, joining James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic.

Despite being the lowest-grossing installment of the franchise so far, Kung Fu Panda 3 managed to add a respectable $21 million to its domestic earnings so far, and without any competition from other animated features for the next few weeks the film looks like it could stick around for a while.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Kung Fu Panda 3 $21M $69M $198.1M
2. Hail, Caesar! $11.4M $11.4M $11.4M
3. The Revenant $7.1M $149.7M $326.1M
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens $6.9M $906M $2,008.4M
5. The Choice $6.1M $6.1M $6.1M
6. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies $5.2M $5.2M $5.2M
7. The Finest Hours $4.7M $18.4M $24.2M
8. Ride Along 2 $4.5M $77.2M $100M
9. The Boy $4.1M $26.9M $26.9M
10. Dirty Grandpa $4M $29.4M $29.4M

Of the weekend’s new releases, the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar! had the best debut of the bunch, but still underperformed according to most expectations for the film. The movie’s $11.4 million opening weekend is the lowest-grossing debut for any of the duo’s films that received a wide release, falling just over a $1 million shy of the opening weekend for 2004’s The Ladykillers.

The only other new films to make it into the weekend’s top 10 were The Choice, the latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, and the genre-mashing supernatural adventure Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Both films had a rough time attracting audiences, and will likely have a short run in theaters if they don’t pick up audiences down the road. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies could get some assistance from international audiences, though, so all is not lost for that particular project.

This upcoming weekend features two very different movies that lean heavily on humor, with Deadpool and Zoolander 2 both hitting theaters Friday. Ryan Reynolds’ R-rated superhero adventure is shaping up to be a film unlike any comic book movie so far, while Zoolander 2 will test whether Ben Stiller can recapture the quirky humor that made his 2001 fashion parody so popular.


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