‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ opens No. 1, while ‘Dune: Part Two’ stays strong

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Timothee Chalamet in a scene from "Dune: Part Two." (Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Timothee Chalamet in a scene from “Dune: Part Two.” (Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As Universal Pictures prepared for a big night at the Academy Awards with “Oppenheimer,” the studio also celebrated the No. 1 debut of “Kung Fu Panda 4,” which collected $58.3 million in domestic theaters over the weekend, according to estimates Sunday.

“Kung Fu Panda 4,” the first film in the DreamWorks Animation franchise since the third installment in 2016, got off to a better start than all but the 2008 original. That “Kung Fu Panda,” which began the mystical adventures of Jack Black’s panda warrior Po, launched with $60.2 million.

Working in favor of “Kung Fu Panda 4″: It’s the first big family movie since “Migration” and “Wonka” hit theaters in December. “Kung Fu Panda 4″ added $22 million internationally.

The news was just as good for last week’s top film, “Dune: Part Two.” Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic sequel held strongly in its second week, dropping a modest 44%. It grossed $46 million in its second week, bringing its domestic cumulative total to $157 million for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.

Riding strong reviews, great word-of-mouth and plenty of sand worms, “Dune: Part Two” appears well set up for a long theatrical run. Most of Sunday’s Oscar nominees have already moved on to home viewing platforms, but “Dune” could wind up at next year’s Academy Awards.

Opening in third place was the Lionsgate, Blumhouse horror release “Imaginary,” about a sinister teddy bear. It debuted with $10 million.

Following it was “Cabrini,” a portrait of the 19th century Catholic missionary Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (played by Cristiana Dell’Anna). The film, released by the Christian-based company Angel Studios, the studio behind the 2023 surprise hit “Sound of Freedom,” collected $7.5 million.

A24 also debuted the critically acclaimed neo-noir “Love Lies Bleeding,” starring Kristen Stewart, on five screens in New York and Los Angeles. It grossed $167,463 for a good per-screen average of $33,493.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Kung Fu Panda 4,” $58.3 million.

2. “Dune: Part Two,” $46 million.

3. “Imaginary,” $10 million.

4. “Cabrini,” $7.6 million.

5. “Bob Marley: One Love,” $4.1 million.

6. “Ordinary Angels,” $2 million.

7. “Madame Web,” $1.1 million.

8. “Migration,” $1.1 million.

9. “Yolo,” $840,000

10. MET Opera: “La Forza del Destino,” $768,000.

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