Kung Fu Panda 3 dominated on both sides of the Pacific last weekend, scoring a number one launch in the United States and a record-breaking number one launch in China.
In the United States, the latest installment of the DreamWorks franchise debuted atop the box office with an estimated $41 million. The opening represents a drop-off from Kung Fu Panda 2, which opened with $47.7 million in 2011, or the original’s $60.2 million bow in 2008, but it’s a nonetheless significant launch for the slow January period. In fact, when final numbers are released, it may even top Ride Along’s $41.5 million debut to become the highest-grossing January launch of all-time.
The domestic box office gross doesn’t begin to tell the whole story about the Alessandro Carloni and Jennifer Yuh-directed movie. Kung Fu Panda, much like Blue Sky’s Ice Age franchise, has found greater success abroad than at home. In fact, less than 25% of Kung Fu Panda 2′s total box office came from the United States. Expect that number to drop even further with this latest installment.