'Kung Fu Panda 3' tops box office, 'Finest Hours' flounders

LOS ANGELES -- "Kung Fu Panda 3" kicked its way to the top of the North American box office with a respectable $41 million, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday.

See Full Article

The DreamWorks Animation film cost a reported $145 million to make and earned a strong "A" CinemaScore from audiences -- 70 per cent of whom were families.

"It's a bold move to take a franchise which has had great success in that summer corridor and move it into late January, which is generally considered a very slow time," Rentrak's senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said. "It also filled a huge void in the marketplace."

The first film opened to $60.2 million in 2008 and the second to $47.7 million in 2011.

For Fox, switching up the release was a no-brainer after seeing the successes of "The Lego Movie" and last year's "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water" in this time frame.

"We know that when the market conditions are right, this business really is a 365-day-a-year business," said Chris Aronson, Fox's domestic distribution chief. "We saw an opportunity and we grabbed it. We're thrilled with the results."

There are a number of winter holidays coming up where kids will be out of school and "Zootopia," 2016's next big animated release, doesn't open until March 4.

The animated sequel also fared much better than the weekend's other new openers, like Disney's Coast Guard adventure "The Finest Hours," which debuted in fourth place with $10.3 million.

Based on a real life 1952 rescue mission, "The Finest Hours" stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster and cost around $80 million to make.

Dergarabedian thinks that the nautical theme might have seemed too similar to the recently released "In the Heart of the Sea" for audiences.

The opening is similar to last year's "McFarland, USA," another fact-based drama from Disney, which opened with $11 million in late February and went on to earn $44.4 million.

The "Fifty Shades of Grey" parody "Fifty Shades of Black," meanwhile, earned a modest $6.2 million, but it only cost a reported $5 million to produce. Marlon Wayans co-wrote, stars in and produced the R-rated takeoff.

"Spoof movies and parodies have a very mixed box office record," said Dergarabedian. "The reviews are never good on these movies. You have to really hope you're riding a wave of the popularity of the movie you're spoofing."

"Fifty Shades of Grey" was released last February and its sequel isn't expected until next year.

The Weinstein Company's Natalie Portman-led Western "Jane Got a Gun" misfired out of the gates, bringing in only $803,000 on a $25 million budget.

Overall, there wasn't much space for newcomers with strong holdovers like "The Revenant" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which took second and third place with $12.4 million and $10.8 million, respectively. Both fell only 23 per cent from last weekend.

Notably, Fox's "The Revenant," once considered a possible box office disaster with its gritty subject matter and reported $135 million budget, has earned $138.2 million to date in six weeks in theatres thanks in part to its awards hot streak with multiple wins for star Leonardo DiCaprio and a host of high profile Oscar nominations.

"It's a marvelous thing for us, for the industry, for filmmaking in general. To have a hold like this is really heartening," Aronson said. "This is a pretty good weekend. There's a very balanced marketplace here. There's something for everyone out there now, and I've always said that's when this business is at its best."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "Kung Fu Panda 3," $41 million.

2. "The Revenant," $12.4 million.

3. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," $10.8 million.

4. "The Finest Hours," $10.3 million.

5. "Ride Along 2," $8.3 million.

6. "The Boy," $7.9 million.

7. "Dirty Grandpa," $7.6 million.

8. "The 5th Wave," $7 million.

9. "Fifty Shades of Black," $6.2 million.

10. "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," $6 million.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Nicholas Hoult tipped to play young J.R.R. Tolkien: report

    Entertainment CTV News
    English actor Nicholas Hoult is reportedly in negotiations to portray a young J.R.R. Tolkien in Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment's upcoming biopic of the author. The film, aptly titled 'Tolkien,' is set at the outset of WWI and chronicles the formative year sof the the orphaned author as he befriends a group of outsiders at school, just in time for the war to threaten to tear them apart, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Source
  • Teachers marry after meeting on 'Jeopardy', get congrats from Alex Trebek

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Aside from being the host of a hit game show, Alex Trebek can add matchmaker to his list of accomplishments. Teachers Maryanne Lewell and Michael Townes got married on July 7 after they met while competing on Jeopardy's annual “Teacher’s Tournament” four years ago, according to the New York Times. Source
  • Amber Rose: Kanye West bullied me after we split

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Amber Rose struggled with heartache and pain following her split from Kanye West, revealing her rapper ex bullied her for several years. The model dated the Stronger hitmaker from 2008 to 2010 and after their split the former couple traded barbs on social media for years. Source
  • Movie bosses to 'digitally shave' Henry Cavill for Justice League

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Justice League producers will digitally remove Henry Cavill’s moustache from last-minute reshoots as the actor juggles filming commitments in Mission: Impossible 6, according to reports. The British star had to grow out his facial hair for the next installment of Tom Cruise’s hit spy franchise, which he had been expected to complete before heading back to shoot extra scenes for Justice League. Source
  • 'Everything's fine,' Justin Bieber says after scrapping rest of tour

    Entertainment CBC News
    Canadian pop star Justin Bieber says "everything's fine" after he abruptly cancelled the remainder of his Purpose world tour Monday, including two dates in Toronto. "I've been on tour for two years," he said in a video obtained by TMZ. Source
  • Johnny Depp wants mental health allegations struck from fraud lawsuit

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Johnny Depp is fighting to have allegations he suffers from “psychological issues” and a “compulsive spending disorder” struck from the record in his ongoing legal battle with his former business managers. The Pirates of the Caribbean star has been locked in a bitter lawsuit with Joel and Robert Mandel from The Management Group (TMG) since January, when he sued them for fraud and negligence, claiming their mishandling of his finances had caused him to run up debts of more than $40…
  • Sinatra's fourth wife dead at 90

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Barbara Sinatra, the fourth wife of legendary singer Frank Sinatra and a prominent advocate and philanthropist for abused children, has died at 90. John Thoresen, director of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, says she died Tuesday of natural causes at her Rancho Mirage, California, home. Source
  • Kendrick Lamar leads contenders for MTV's non-gendered VMAs

    Entertainment CBC News
    Kendrick Lamar's Humble is giving the rapper reason to brag: he is the leader heading into the MTV Video Music Awards with eight nominations. Lamar and his hit song are nominated for video of the year, artist of the year, best hip-hop video and other categories. Source
  • Chrissy Teigen says Trump blocked her on Twitter

    Entertainment CTV News
    Model Chrissy Teigen says she has been blocked on Twitter by U.S. President Donald Trump after years of trolling the Republican online. Teigen posted a screenshot from her Twitter account revealing she had been blocked from viewing the president's tweets. Source
  • Game of Thrones: Shattering the dragonglass ceiling

    Entertainment CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Westeros is no longer a man's world. Women are finally calling most of the shots during the seventh season of "Game of Thrones." And if recent economic history is any guide, greater gender equality could help make everyone better off. Source