This weekend, a new movie from the Coen Brothers, another Nicholas Sparks adaptation, and a high concept zombie movie all arrived but none of them could knock out an animated panda from the top spot at the box office. “Kung Fu Panda 3” stayed at the top of the box office for the second straight week, with 20th Century Fox‘s sequel adding $21 million to the balance sheet, keeping it ahead of the competition which didn’t have much of a fighting chance.
The film coming in with arguably the biggest push behind it was the Coens’ “Hail, Caesar!” and yet, despite a huge ensemble of A-list talent, the picture only earned $11.4 million. The directors have only had six films in their career open in wide release, but this ranks near the bottom with 2003’s “Intolerable Cruelty” besting it. With a $22 million price-tag, the film will likely wind up perhaps turning a small profit, and an international premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival should give some shine to the movie when it rolls out globally, but the figures indicate that even with big name talent, the Coens are still playing to a niche market.
Lionsgate debuted “The Choice,” only to find that perhaps audiences are finally finished with films based on the work of Nicholas Sparks. Of eleven movies bearing his name, the $6 million opening of “The Choice” has been the worst to date by a large margin. The next one up is “The Best Of Me,” which opened to $26 million in 2014. This should make any studio think long and hard before taking on the author’s work in the future.
Meanwhile, Screen Gems couldn’t sell their Jane Austen meets the undead mashup “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies.” The tepid $5.2 million opening is way behind the $16.3 million launch of the other Seth Grahame-Smith hybrid movie, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” It would appear moviegoers are tired of seeing monster movies fancied up with high concepts.
Disney continues to watch the money roll in for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Thursday marked the film’s fiftieth day of release, and this weekend saw the picture cross $900 million domestic, the first movie in history to do so, and has hit $2 billion worldwide, to become the third highest grossing movie of all time. It won’t be catching the $2.7 billion haul of “Avatar,” but also, who cares? Any way you slice it, ‘The Force Awakens’ is a massive success.
Elsewhere, “The Revenant” became the fifth movie of Leonardo DiCaprio‘s career to cross $150 million domestic and worldwide it’s cracked the $325 million mark. The Weinstein Company endured another big flop, with the Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke starring “Regression” earning a terrible $31,000 on 100 screens for a PSA of $310, while “Jane Got A Gun” tumbled hard in its second weekend taking in just $127,000.
1. “Kung Fu Panda 3” — $21 million ($69 mil.)
2. “Hail, Caesar!” — $11.4 million
3. “The Revenant” — $7.1 million ($149.7 mil.)
4. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — $6.8 million ($905.9 mil.)
5. “The Choice” — $6 million
6. “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies — $5.2 million
7. “The Finest Hours” — $4.7 million ($18.3 mil.)
8. “Ride Along 2” — $4.5 million ($77.2 mil.)
9. “The Boy” — $4 million ($26.8 mil.)
10. “Dirty Grandpa” — $4 million ($29.3 mil.)