China Box Office: ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Opens to $25.9M During Quiet Weekend

Even a Hollywood hit with Chinese characteristics can’t seem to revive the U.S. studios’ diminished status at China’s box office.

Dreamworks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 — the latest installment in one of China’s favorite long-running U.S. franchises, thanks to its Chinese culture-steeped story — opened to $14.7 million from Friday to Sunday, according to data from regional consultancy Artisan Gateway. But that total toplined one of the country’s weakest weekends of the year, so far. Including preview screenings the week prior, Kung Fu Panda 4 finished Sunday with a somewhat healthier-sounding $25.9 million.

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Either way, the movie is miles behind its franchise predecessor Kung Fu Panda 3, which opened the weekend before Chinese New Year in 2016 with a record-setting $57.8 million haul. The threequel finished its run in China with $154.3 million, surpassing its North American total of $143.5 million. Chinese ticketing app Maoyan currently projects Kung Fu Panda 4 to top out at about $44 million.

Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.’ Dune: Part Two, meanwhile, is doing somewhat better than its —admittedly much more recent — franchise predecessor. The Denis Villeneuve film added $4.6 million over its third weekend for a total of $44.6 million, exceeding Dune: Part One‘s $39.5 million lifetime tally in 2021. Maoyan now forecasts the sequel to finish at close to $50 million.

Holdover Taiwanese black comedy thriller The Pig, the Snake and the Pigeon earned $6.8 million and came in second for the weekend ahead of Dune: Part Two. The crime-themed feature, written and directed by Hong Kong’s Wong Ching-po, has earned $48.5 million since its release on March 1.

China’s year-to-date box office total was $2.24 billion as of Sunday, up 5 on the same period from 2023.

Legendary and Warners’ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, opening Friday, is the next major U.S. release to hit China.

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