‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Edges Out ‘Dune 2’ at Box Office With $30 Million

Universal/DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda 4” and Warner Bros./Legendary’s “Dune: Part Two” are going unchallenged by several new wide releases this weekend, with “Kung Fu Panda 4” getting the narrow edge for No. 1 with $30 million in its second weekend in theaters.

With just a 48% drop from its $57.9 million opening weekend, “Kung Fu Panda 4” now has a two-weekend total of $107 million domestic and is well on pace to blow past the $186 million domestic run of fellow animated franchise feature “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” a year ago. Globally, “Kung Fu Panda 4” has a total of $176.5 million and will be released next weekend in China, where the film has enjoyed success in the past but where Hollywood now has little sway over audiences since the pandemic.

“Dune: Part Two” could still take the No. 1 spot from “Kung Fu Panda 4” with an estimated $29.1 million in its third weekend, once again keeping its weekend drop exceptionally low at just 37%. It now joins “Barbie” and “Wonka” as the third Warner Bros. release in the past eight months to cross $200 million in domestic grosses with a $205 million running total, and it will cross a half a billion dollars worldwide in a matter of days as it sports a running global total of $494 million.

Lionsgate’s “Arthur the King” is the sole newcomer to the top 5, taking $7.5 million this weekend from 3,003 theaters and meeting the low end of pre-release projections. The good news for the film is that it has been well received by moviegoers, with an A on CinemaScore, while critics give it a more mixed 63% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Starring Mark Wahlberg as an adventure racer who befriends an injured dog during a grueling competition in the Dominican Republic, the film is reported to have a $20 million budget and aims to bring in older audiences over the coming weeks as an inspirational alternative to “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” and “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.”

A pair of films in their second weekend, Lionsgate/Blumhouse’s “Imaginary” and Angel Studios’ “Cabrini,” round out the top 5. “Imaginary” will turn a modest theatrical profit as it adds $5.5 million in its second weekend to bring its running domestic total to $19 million. “Cabrini” added $2.9 million to bring its 10-day total to $13 million.

Farther down the charts, a trio of specialty releases rolled out nationwide this weekend, though none had exceptionally strong results. The best of the bunch was A24’s crime thriller “Love Lies Bleeding” starring Kristen Stewart, which expanded to 1,362 theaters after a limited release last weekend and grossed $2.5 million.

With a tense LGBT romance and plenty of gory crime at its center, “Love Lies Bleeding has Rotten Tomatoes scores of 92% critics and 88% audience. It is hoping to find traction with younger arthouse audiences as it continues to expand nationwide next weekend.

Bleecker Street’s “One Life” was released in 983 theaters and grossed $1.7 million. The film stars Anthony Hopkins in a true-story retelling of Nicholas Winton, a London broker who became a national hero after the story of his rescue of hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis was told on the BBC show “That’s Life!” The film has been well received, with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 88% critics approval and 92% from audience members.

The worst-performing of the trio was Focus Features’ “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” grossing $1.25 million from 1,147 theaters. The satire about a secret society of Black people who use their magical powers to keep white people comfortable received mostly negative reviews after its Sundance premiere, holding a 30% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

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