×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Trumps ‘Hail, Caesar!,’ ‘Pride & Prejudice & Zombies’ Flops

Hollywood fumbled the ball during a quiet Super Bowl weekend at the multiplexes as new releases such as “Hail, Caesar!” and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” failed to make much noise.

For the second weekend in a row, DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 3” easily topped box office charts. The animated sequel added $21 million to its $69 million domestic haul. The film is playing particularly well in China, where it is being distributed by Oriental DreamWorks, a $330 million East-West joint venture. It crossed the $100 million mark in the People’s Republic this weekend after opening day-and-date in the U.S. and China on Jan. 29.

Universal’s “Hail, Caesar!,” a sendup of the Hollywood studio system from the Coen brothers, fared best among the new entrants, though that’s grading on a generous curve. It picked up a mediocre $11.4 million for a second place finish. A C-minus CinemaScore could spell trouble for the film’s long-term prospects, signaling the satire is divisive with audiences.

Universal distribution chief Nicholas Carpou said that CinemaScore may not capture the brothers’ fan base, noting that previous films from the pair, such as “The Ladykillers” (C CinemaScore) and “Intolerable Cruelty” (C+), have scored poorly, but showed some endurance. The pair’s biggest hit, “True Grit,” earned a B+ CinemaScore.

“There are some films that really defy polling in a general sense,” said Carpou. “The Coen brothers are legitimate auteur filmmakers, and they have a loyal fan base that is coming out to see this movie.”

“Hail, Caesar!” stars Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson and cost $22 million to produce. Universal distributed the film across 2,222 locations. The opening weekend crowd was 52% male, 69% over age 35 and 86% Caucasian.

The weekend was particularly hostile for the other films elbowing into theaters. “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” a hybrid of Jane Austen’s romances and “The Walking Dead,” earned a wan $5.2 million from 2,931 locations. Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of the book that inspired the movie, has had trouble translating his genre-mashing style to the big screen: Grahame-Smith’s “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” also struggled at the box office when it was released in 2012. Sony and Screen Gems distributed the film, while Cross Creek fully financed the $28 million production.

The film skewed female, with women making up 58% of ticket buyers, and was seen as a counter-programming play against the Super Bowl.

“We would have liked to have done more,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s distribution chief. “It’s a movie that screened well and that we all really liked a lot. It’s clever and smart and fun.”

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” has been in the works for years, with directors such as David O. Russell and stars such as Natalie Portman falling into and out of the project at various stages in its development. The cast that finally shepherded the film to screens includes Lily James, Matt Smith, Sam Riley and Jack Huston, with Burr Steers (“Igby Goes Down”) directing from a script he wrote.

Lionsgate’s “The Choice” rounded out the top five, mustering a feeble $6.1 million from 2,631 North American theaters. The story of a veteran (Benjamin Walker) who falls in love with his neighbor (Teresa Palmer) comes from the pen of romance novelist Nicholas Sparks. Given the tepid reception, it seems unlikely to rival the popularity of previous Sparks adaptations such as “Dear John” or “The Notebook,” both of which made more than $80 million Stateside. Lionsgate acquired the film for $10 million.

Two holdovers secured third and fourth place on the charts — “The Revenant” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The Leonardo DiCaprio survivalist drama picked up $7.1 million to bring its domestic total to $149.7 million. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” nabbed $6.9 million, pushing its North American haul to a godly $906 million. On Saturday, the space opera became only the third film in history, along with “Avatar” and “Titanic,” to cross $2 billion globally.

In limited release, the Weinstein Company debuted the Ethan Hawke-Emma Watson psychological thriller “Regression” in 100 theaters, where it eked out $31,000 for a dismal $310 per-screen average.

Look for ticket sales to flatline on Sunday as Americans gather around their television sets to watch the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers. Historically, Super Bowl weekend is a down one for the industry — last year football’s biggest game caused ticket sales to drop 57% from the previous weekend. But the match-ups also provide a marketing bonanza for the movie business, with studios preparing to tease upcoming blockbusters such as “Alice Through the Looking Glass” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” during this year’s broadcast.

“It’s like an annuity,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “Super Bowl may take a bite out of the box office, but it allows Hollywood to put their trailers on a worldwide stage in a way that will pay off later.”

More Film

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at the The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

  • 'Philharmonia'

    French Series 'Philharmonia' Sells to the U.K., the U.S. and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Philharmonia,” a French thriller series set in the world of a national orchestra, has been acquired in English-speaking territories from Lagardere Studios Distribution. “Philharmonia,” which was created and co-written by Marine Gacem, has been acquired by First Look Media’s Topic for SVOD rights in the U.S., and Walter Presents for the U.K. and Australia. “Philharmonia” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content