The film earned $52.2 million in its first three days to Sunday, setting a new opening weekend record for a Chinese-made animation. Including previews from the weekend before, it finished Sunday with a cumulative total of $58.2 million.
The score was achieved from 9.38 million ticket sales at 278,000 screenings. It showed on 272 IMAX screens and set an opening weekend record for an animated film in the format in China, with $3.8 million. (The previous record was held by “How To Train Your Dragon 2” with $2.87 million. 12 of the top 20 cinemas in China were IMAX locations.
“Panda” utterly dominated the weekend, winning Friday (by $15.6 million ahead of second placed “Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip” on $890,000), Saturday ($19.1 million ahead of “Lost in The Pacific” with $1.12 million) and Sunday ($16.1 million ahead of “Lost” on $1.18 million.)
The film is a co-production between the DreamWorks Animation of the U.S. and Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks, and as such is considered a local Chinese film, allowing its distributors a far higher share of box office receipts than if it had been an import. Producers delivered two versions allowing for different Mandarin and English lip-synching, and different original voice casts. The Chinese score for the weekend was also higher than the North American total of $41.0 million.
The three-day China score was enough to make “Kung Fu Panda 3” the far-away winner for the week, as well as the weekend.
In second place on the week (Monday Jan. 25 to Sunday Jan. 31) “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” managed $7.88 million. That gives it a 23 day cumulative of $124 million.
Third place on the week was “Boonie Bears III” earning $6.28 million for a 16 day cumulative of $39.7 million.
“The Walk” earned $5.75 million over the week for a 10-day total of $12.6 million. Tuesday release, “Alvin And The Chipmunks” managed $5.69 million in six days.
“The Last Witch Hunter” collected $4.84 million over the week, for an 11 day cumulative of $25.9 million.
“Lost In The Pacific” which released on the same day as “Kung Fu Panda 3,” managed $3.27 million in three days.
“In ninth spot, “Inside or Outside” managed $2.17 million to stand on a total of $6.14 million after 10 days. Tent place went to “House of Wolves” with $1.96 million, edging its 9-day cumulative score to $3.18 million.