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‘Kung Fu Panda’ again beats sandworms in N. America box office

By AFP - Mar 19,2024 - Last updated at Mar 19,2024

James Hong, a voice actor in ‘Kung Fu Panda 4,’ attends the film’s Los Angeles premiere on March 5 (AFP photo)

LOS ANGELES — For a second weekend running “Kung Fu Panda 4” battled its way to the top of the North American box office, narrowly edging out “Dune: Part Two”, according to industry watcher Exhibitor Relations.

“Panda”, a martial arts comedy from Universal and DreamWorks Animation, took in an estimated $30 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period, while the Warner Bros. “Dune” sequel, about war and survival in a sand-covered planet inhabited by giant worms, earned a respectable $29.1 million.

“Panda” has now taken in $107.7 million in theatres in the United States and Canada plus an additional $176.5 million internationally. “Dune”, released a week earlier, has seen domestic ticket sales of $157.2 million and international sales of $210 million.

After those two films, there was a sharp dropoff in North America, with Lionsgate’s new release “Arthur the King” taking in just $7.5 million.

“Arthur”, the story of an adventurer who befriends an injured stray dog, may have an identity problem, said analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research. “It’s not a family film or a comedy, but it’s not a hard adventure for moviegoers who like edgier entertainment. All of that complicates the sell.”

Mark Wahlberg plays the man; Arthur, for those keeping track, is played by Ukai, an Australian shepherd/border collie/Bouvier mix, according to dogtime.com.

In fourth, down one spot from last weekend, was horror film “Imaginary” from Lionsgate and Blumhouse Productions, at $5.6 million. DeWanda Wise plays a woman who rediscovers her childhood teddy bear — and ends up wishing she hadn’t.

And in fifth, also down one spot, was Angel Studios’ “Cabrini” at $2.7 million. Cristiana Dell’Ann plays Francesca Cabrini, an Italian nun in 19th-century New York who clashes with politicians and church officials while trying to care for impoverished immigrants.

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