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‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Wins Over Families With $58 Million Box Office Launch

Universal/DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda 4” is keeping the March box office rebound humming with a $58.3 million opening weekend from 4,035 theaters.

It’s the highest opening weekend for DreamWorks Animation since the pandemic, topping the $55 million start of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” in February 2019 and topping the $41.2 million opening of “Kung Fu Panda 3” in 2016.

In fact, if “Kung Fu Panda 4” can overperform on Sunday and push its final opening total past $60 million, it will be the first DreamWorks Animation film to do so since “Madagascar 3” back in 2012.

With $22 million grossed from 41 overseas markets, “Kung Fu Panda 4” has a global start of $80 million. Universal is banking on long legs for the film as kids go on spring break over the coming weeks. The film also stands as the only animated family offering for the entire spring, with no direct competition coming until “The Garfield Movie” on Memorial Day weekend.

Warner Bros./Legendary’s “Dune: Part Two” is second on the charts, but it is a spectacular second with $46 million. That is just a 44% drop from the sci-fi epic’s $82 million weekend and tops the $41 million opening weekend of the first “Dune” in 2021.

With families turning out mostly for “Kung Fu Panda” — that film took 56% of its audience from the under-25 crowd — “Dune: Part Two” is continuing to draw out the over-25 demo as it did on opening weekend with its stellar word-of-mouth. The film is also getting a major boost from audiences who were interested in seeing the movie on opening weekend on Imax and other premium formats but were unable to do so because screenings in such auditoriums sold out at their local theaters.

With $157 million grossed domestically, “Dune: Part Two” has already passed the $108 million domestic run of the first “Dune” and should cross $200 million domestic in the coming week. A domestic run of $300 million is still within reach if the film continues to leg out, and the film would be the first since “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” last summer to reach that mark if it gets there.

In third is Lionsgate/Blumhouse’s “Imaginary,” which earned a $10 million opening from 3,118 locations, meeting pre-release projections. The horror film sports a $10 million budget and will easily make its money back, which is good as the film has gotten a thumbs down from critics and audiences with a C+ on CinemaScore and 31% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In fourth is Angel Studios’ “Cabrini,” a biopic about Catholic missionary Francesca Cabrini that serves as director Alejandro Monteverde’s followup to his massive indie breakout hit “Sound of Freedom.” The film earned $7.5 million in its opening weekend from 2,840 theaters.

Given its subject matter, “Cabrini” is unlikely to get the passionate support from conservative media that helped fuel “Sound of Freedom” last summer, but it has been well received by critics and Christian audiences with a 90% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and 98% audience. Angel Studios expects the film to leg out among its core audience through March and all the way to Easter.

Paramount’s “Bob Marley: One Love” completes the top 5 with $4.1 million, bringing its total to $89 million domestic and $160 million worldwide after its fourth weekend in theaters.

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