The victory of of Kung Fu Panda 3 at the box office this weekend conjures one of the most common questions you have to ask yourself when keeping a constant eye on the charts: when is a hit not a hit? Sure, the third film in DreamWorks Animation’s series did open at number one and its numbers are very good, but they’re lower than you’d think. In any case, it still fared significantly better than the rest of the competition this week — all of the other new releases simply flopped.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1Kung Fu Panda 3$41,000,000$10,367$41,000,000
2The Revenant$12,400,000 (-22.5)$3,724$138,171,346
3Star Wars: The Force Awakens$10,782,000 (-23.4)$4,218$895,426,162
4The Finest Hours$10,327,000$3,286$10,327,000
5Ride Along 2$8,345,520 (-33.0)
6The Boy$7,894,000 (-26.8)$2,955$21,527,916
7Dirty Grandpa$7,575,000 (-31.8)$2,601$22,821,010
8The 5th Wave$7,000,000 (-32.2)$2,407$20,188,149
9Fifty Shades of Black$6,186,648$2,982$6,186,648
1013 Hours$6,000,000 (-33.6)$2,141$42,573,845


Kung Fu Panda 3 opened with $41 million, a drop off from the $47 million opening of 2011’s Kung Panda 2, which was already a significant drop from 2008’s Kung Fu Panda, which opened to $60 million. Part two also went on to make significantly less than the first film at the domestic box office, which certainly doesn’t bode well for part three, which may start struggling soon after it hits $100 million or so. However, Kung Fu Panda 2 was a bigger international hit than its predecessor and we should expect the same from Kung Fu Panda 3, which should make a killing around the globe.

Meanwhile, The Finest Hours flopped into fourth place with a meager $10 million opening, which is not good for a movie with a reported budget just south of $100 million. Although reviews weren’t savage, it’s obvious that this true life adventure film simply got the short end of Disney’s marketing stick (everyone else was too busy dealing with Star Wars) and the film never managed to feel like a proper event. A January release killed this movie. In any case, expect star Chris Pine to make Star Trek movies forever now.

The final new release of the week, Fifty Shades of Black, stumbled into ninth place with only $6 million. When it comes to parody films from the Wayans brothers, this aligns more with A Haunted House 2 than A Haunted House, which remains one of the more surprising minor hits of recent years. In any case, this one probably won’t break $25 million at the domestic box office.

The rest of the top 10 saw the usual suspects still doing their usual thing. The Revenant sat pretty at number two, grossing $12 million for a $138 million total. In slot number three, Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed $10 million for a $895 million total. It should cross over the $900 million mark in just a few days.

Elsewhere, Dirty Grandpa continued to not do much of anything, Ride Along 2 and 13 Hours continued to underperform, and The 5th Wave continued to bomb. If there’s one surprise, it’s The Boy, which dropped only 26 percent to earn $7 million for a $21 million total, which is unheard of for a horror movie. Drops of 50 percent or higher are just considered to be the norm in this genre, so this January dump is, somehow, defying all expectations.

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