Box Office: ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Powers to $58 Million Debut, ‘Dune 2’ Surpasses $150 Million

Universal and DreamWorks' animated adventure "Kung Fu Panda 4" topped the US box office, grossing $58.3 million from 4,035 locations in its first weekend.

It is the franchise's greatest premiere since 2008's "Kung Fu Panda" ($60 million), surpassing the start of the two previous entries, 2016's "Kung Fu Panda 3" ($41 million) and 2011's "Kung Fu Panda 2" ($47.6 million), not adjusted for inflation.

"Family audiences were primed to come out and have fun with a much-beloved franchise," says Jim Orr, Universal's domestic distribution president. "Animated films have a tendency to lag behind. We expect a huge corridor."

Internationally, the fourth installment of the martial arts-inspired animated comedy grossed $22 million from 41 markets, for a total of $80 million. 

This chapter cost $85 million to make, which is less than the prior three films, which each cost over $150 million. Jack Black returns to voice the lead character in "Kung Fu Panda 4," the franchise's first new film in eight years. 

 The tale, which follows Po as he hunts for his successor while fighting a new shapeshifting nemesis known as the Chameleon, appears to have resonated more with moviegoers (it has a "A-" CinemaScore) than critics (it has a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes).

"This is an excellent opening for an animation sequel that's this far into its series," says David A. Gross of movie advisory firm Franchise Entertainment Research. "'Kung Fu Panda' is showing terrific strength now, with good momentum for another sequel."

Villeneuve told Digital Spy, "We are still in the early stages. We are headed in the correct direction. There has been a lot of work done, but there is still a lot of work to be done before we have anything solid to shoot.

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