‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ KO-ing $52M, 2nd-Biggest Franchise Debut – Friday Box Office SuperNayr

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: As expected, Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 is headed to the second biggest opening of the franchise with $52M after an $18.4M Friday (including previews) at 4.035 theaters. The first Kung Fu Panda in 2008 opened to $60.2M, that DWA title distributed by Paramount at the time.

Legendary/Warner Bros’ Dune: Part Two has the strength of an Arakis’ sandworm, holding in at $41M or -50%. It may even be better. That amount gets the Denis Villeneuve feature take of the Frank Herbert novel to $152M by EOD Sunday at 4,074 theaters. Last year thanks to Scream VI, all films made $118M. We might see that same amount for the marketplace again.

Lionsgate/Blumhouse’s $10M production of Teddy Bear horror film, Imaginary, is eyeing exactly that in its 3-day, which is fine at 3,118 theaters. Today is $3.2M-$3.8M.

In fourth is Angel Studios’ Cabrini which I’m told by the distribs’ reps “is not a Catholic skewing movie.” Go figure, but my mom would be the first one in line. Booked at 2,840 theaters, it’s looking at an estimated $3.6M today and $9M-$9.4M for the weekend.

Fifth goes to Paramount’s Bob Marley: One Love at 2,764 theaters with $1.1M today, and a fourth weekend of $4.45M, -40%, for a running total of $89.7M. The movie hits digital on March 19.

FRIDAY AM: Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 grossed $3.8M in Thursday night previews that began at 2PM yesterday, a figure that KOs the preview figure of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($3M), which stands as the best opening for a DWA title since Universal acquired the studio. How to Train Your Dragon 3 opened to $55M after a $17.3M Friday. The outlook for the fourthquel this weekend is north of $50M for the No. 1 spot. Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score of 82% is ahead of the movie’s critical score of 72% fresh.

Other family previews that Kung Fu Panda 4 stepped on were Disney/Pixar’s Elemental ($2.5M, 3PM) and Wonka ($3.5M, 3PM).

Lionsgate/Blumhouse’s PG-13 horror thriller Imaginary drew $725K from shows that began at 6PM. That’s a figure in line with Imaginary filmmaker Jeff Wadlow’s 2018 title, Truth or Dare, which posted $750K and went on to $18M, and it’s under 20th Century Studios’ Boogeyman which posted $1.1M and posted a 3-day of $12.3M. Imaginary is expected to open to between $10M-$14M. At 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s clear critics don’t like Teddy Bears.

We’re waiting on the official preview figure for Angel Studios’ Cabrini but we’re hearing it’s around $500K. The pic is expected to do between $5M-$10M.

Meanwhile, Legendary/Warner Bros.’ Dune: Part Two posted $6.4M on Thursday night, -4% from Wednesday, for a week’s take of $111M. In one week, the theatrical release of Dune: Part Two beat the entire domestic run of its 2021 predecessor, Dune, which did $108.8M; that movie’s fortune siphoned by a day-and-date release on HBO Max and theaters, as well as Covid.

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