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Weekend Box Office: Kung Fu Panda 3 Repeats, Hail, Caesar! Top Among Newcomers

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By Chris Kavan - 02/07/16 at 09:16 PM CT

It was a super weekend... if you were a fan of football. For Hollywood, the weekend was down over 40% compared to last year (but only $2.9 million lower than Superbowl Weekend 2014, for what that matters). A lot of that has to do with the rather tepid response to most of the new films with the Coen Brothers settling for alright while Nicholas Sparks and a zombie adaptation of a classic novel both scrapped by. We also had a near-record second weekend drop for the already-struggling Jane Got a Gun. All around, not much to cheer about, well, unless you're a Star Wars fan (and whose not, I ask?).


Po and crew came out on top for the second weekend in a row as Kung Fu Panda 3 earned $21 million for a new total of $69 million. The 49% drop was a bit higher than expected (but not too far outside the drops from the first two) and its total is trailing the first two films as well. Still, with no other family films in sight until March, Kung Fu Panda 3 is still looking at the rest of the month to itself and if it can hold on to a decent audience should expect a total in the $140 million range. The bigger issue is how big a hit it took in China - a 70% jolt that will likely affect its international total. Still, it won't open in many overseas theaters until March, so we'll see if it can recover on that front. I expect this to hand around the top five for awhile in any case.


The Coen Brother's latest film had the best opening among the new wide-release offerings with a $11.4 million debut. That opening was in line with most estimates, thought it is on the low end for most Coen Brothers pictures. While critics enjoyed the film (79% on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences weren't as impressed, only awarding the film a "C-" Cinemascore. Usually that low of a score means a big drop in the second weekend, but we'll have to wait and see which way the wind blows on this star-studded love letter to the golden age of Hollywood. As it stands, Hail, Caesar! is likely to earn around $30 million. The big factor here is if audiences support this beyond the first weekend - we'll know more about the long-term prospect entering its second weekend.


The likely Oscar-winning Revenant had another good hold, dipping 44.4% in its seventh weekend. The $7.1 million give the film a new total of $149.7 million and officially passing The Great Gatsby ($144.8 million) for Leonardo DiCaprio's film career. It is still looking like the film will be able to pass Django Unchained ($162 million) and Catch Me if You Can ($164 million) before the month is out. If it can ring up a few Oscar wins (and I don't see why it won't), that should be able to push it into the $175 million territory.


The highest-grossing domestic release of all time passed two major milestones. After eight weeks of release, the film brought in another $6.9 million for a new total of $906 million. It is the only film to hit $900 million and, dropping just 38%, still shows little sign of stopping - only the continued loss of theaters is going to matter at this point. It also become only the third film of all time to hit the $2 billion mark internationally with a new total of $2.008 billion. In terms of straight overseas total, it sits at $1.1 billion - just behind Furious 7 (at $1.163 billion) and it may just run out of steam before it can move to third on that list. No matter where it winds up in the record books, I don't think anyone can be disappointed by how well this films has done and, from a fan's perspective, I know I am still very impressed by how it all turned out.


The only other new film to make its way into the top five was the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Choice. Rounding out the top five, The Choice managed just a $6.1 million opening. In terms of Sparks adaptations, this is by far the lowest, with every other film opening to at least $10 million. The "B+" Cinemascore isn't too bad, but it better hope for a decent second-week hold or it will be lucky to get to $20 million. Granted, the film also has a lower budget and thus it doesn't have to be a monster hit and I'm sure there will be more Sparks' films on the way. We'll how Valentine's Day weekend treats this one, but I have a feeling it isn't going to hang out long.

Outside the top five: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies might have missed the boat on the whole zombie craze, as it could only wrangle a sixth place $5.2 million debut. The film is budgeted at a light $28 million (as opposed to the $70 million of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) so even if it underperforms and only hits $20 million, it should be able to make it up on the international front and come out (barely) on top.

The other big news was the near-record drop for Jane Got a Gun. After a terrible start, the film had a terrible second weekend. It dropped 84.8% - the second largest second weekend drop of all time (behind Undiscovered with an 86.4% drop) and the largest second weekend drop for a film playing in over 1000 theaters. I'm guessing they should just cut their losses and get the film out of theaters as it has made a paltry $1.3 million in two weeks.

In milestone news, Ride Along 2 crossed the $75 million mark with a $4.5 million (8th place) weekend a new total of $77.2 million.

Next weekend I'm going to celebrate Valentines Day... by watching a superhero film that looks equal parts hilarious and awesome. That's right - Deadpool arrives. Oh, and we also have Zoolander 2 and How to Be Single.


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