‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Keeps Box Office Recovery Going With $55 Million Opening

The box office is seeing more good news after the strong opening of “Dune: Part Two” last weekend, as Universal/DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda 4” has brought families back to theaters to the tune of a $55 million opening weekend from 4,035 locations.

While not at the level of the $60 million start the first “Kung Fu Panda” earned before inflation adjustment back in 2008, it tops the $41.2 million opening that the animated series’ third installment earned in 2016.

Universal is banking on the animated film having long legs over the next month or so as kids cycle through their spring breaks. With no major animated films hitting theaters until “The Garfield Movie” on Memorial Day weekend, “Kung Fu Panda 4” won’t have any direct competition throughout the spring. Reception has also been generally positive with an A- on CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 69% critics and 86% audience.

In second place is “Dune: Part Two,” which is set to earn an excellent $43.5 million second weekend. That is just 47% down from the Warner Bros./Legendary film’s $82 million opening weekend and is still above the $41 million opening weekend of the first “Dune” in 2021.

Along with excellent word-of-mouth and a lack of major general audience competition, “Dune: Part Two” is benefitting from a strong interest in seeing the film on Imax and other premium formats, which is contributing to the film’s legs as some moviegoers are waiting to see the film until high-demand PLF screenings of the film become available at a convenient time. The film is projected to have a 10-day domestic total of $154.5 million, having already blasted past the $108.8 million domestic run of the first film in its first week of release.

The Lionsgate/Blumhouse horror film “Imaginary” is in third, earning $3.6 million from 3,118 theaters and trending towards a $9.5 million opening, a half-step below projections for a $10 million start. Reception for the film has been lackluster with a C+ CinemaScore and a 31% Rotten Tomatoes critics score, but Blumhouse’s typical low-budget strategy will allow the film to make back its money.

In fourth is Angel Studios’ “Cabrini,” the follow-up film from “Sound of Freedom” director Alejandro Monteverde. The biopic about the Catholic missionary who became the first U.S. citizen to be canonized by the Vatican is tracking for a $7.5 million opening weekend from 2,840 theaters. Along with typically strong reception from Christian audiences with an A on CinemaScore, “Cabrini” has earned positive reviews with a 90% RT score.

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