Studio estimates indicate the third installment of the DreamWorks animated movie "Kung Fu Panda" led box-office sales during the weekend at $21 million, the Associated Press reported. “Kung Fu Panda 3” has been dominating ticket sales in the United States and Canada since it opened Jan. 26.
The film continues the story of the kung fu fighting panda bear Po, voiced by Jack Black, who in the new movie reunites with his long-lost father, voiced by Bryan Cranston. While it received mixed reviews, the New York Times described it as more emotionally complex than the previous films in the series.
Viewers watch as Po navigates the emotional difficulties of bonding with his biological father while trying to maintain a relationship with his adoptive father, a goose named Mr. Ping, voiced by James Hong. “The kiddies might not appreciate the artistry, but grown-ups certainly will,” said the New York Times review.
“Kung Fu Panda 3” beat out two high-profile weekend openers, Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1950s Hollywood spoof “Hail, Caesar!” and the period-piece-meets-horror-flick “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” directed by Burr Steers. “Hail, Caesar!” came in second at the box office, according to Variety, scoring $11.4 million in theaters in the U.S. and Canada, while “The Revenant,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, came in third at $7.1 million. DiCaprio’s turn as a revenge-seeking pioneer has won over critics while earning him an Oscar nomination.
Movies released the same weekend as the Super Bowl often struggle to compete with the sports event, airing Sunday evening on CBS. While the bulk of ticket sales for movies occur Friday and Saturday, Super Bowl 50 is expected to draw upwards of 100 million viewers, according to AdWeek, and could draw moviegoers away from Sunday evening showings.