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Box Office: ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Pummels ‘The Choice,’ ‘Hail, Caesar!’

Animated Jack Black romp “Kung Fu Panda 3” is ruling the box office for a second straight weekend, steamrolling new releases “Hail, Caesar!,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and “The Choice” on its way to a three-day haul of $22 million.

Unspooling in 3,987 locations, DreamWorks Animation’s “Panda” should finish the weekend with a total domestic gross of up to $70 million. It generated $5.3 million in Friday receipts. The original “Kung Fu Panda” took in a U.S. total of $215 million when it hit theaters in 2008, and its sequel tallied $165 million in 2011. This chapter of Po the Panda’s story, rated PG and distributed by Fox, also stars Kate Hudson and Bryan Cranston.

Behind “Panda” is the latest from the Coen brothers, “Hail, Caesar!,” which took in $4.3 million Friday from 2,232 locations. The Universal release should finish the weekend with up to $12 million for its opening frame. George Clooney, Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson star in the comedy about at 1950s Hollywood fixer.

In third and fourth place for the weekend are unsinkable holdovers “The Revenant” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” each set to pull in about $6 million for the weekend.

Lionsgate’s romantic drama “The Choice,” based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, pulled in $2.5 million on Friday from 2,631 locations, portending and opening weekend haul between $5 million and $6 million. Benjamin Walker and Theresa Palmer star in the tearjerker, which has been panned by critics.

Jane Austen mash-up “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” another newcomer this weekend, scared up $2 million on Friday from 2,931 locations. The undead-infested period piece should rack up a three-day total of $5 million. Distributed by Sony and financed by Cross Creek Pictures, “PPZ” stars Lily James as a Shaolin combat-trained Elizabeth Bennet.

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