‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Out-Kicks George Clooney’s ‘Hail, Caesar!’ at Friday Box Office

“The Choice” edges out “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” for third place

“Kung Fu Panda 3” kicked up another $5.3 million on Friday, solidly securing a second No. 1 weekend despite the distraction of Sunday’s Super Bowl and a bunch of new wide-release challengers.

The DreamWorks Animation sequel is projected to ring up $22 million for the weekend as Saturday draws on and families are venturing to the movies theaters. Its current domestic total stands at $48 million.

Universal’s “Hail, Caesar!” starring George Clooney, earned $4.3 million on Friday night. It is currently tracking at $11.6 million for the entire weekend, based on a $22 million budget for the Coen brothers’ sendup of old Hollywood.

Lionsgate’s romance “The Choice” surprised at the Friday box office, finishing ahead of the horror comedy “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

“The Choice,” starring Teresa Palmer and Benjamin Walker, grossed $2.5 million from 2,631 locations on Friday, whereas “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” made $2 million.

For the entire weekend, “The Choice” is looking to make $5.7 million, just ahead of the projected $5.3 million haul for “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Comparably, Sparks’ latest, “The Longest Ride,” opened to $13 million in 2015.

“Pride and Prejudice,” fully financed by Cross Creek at $28 million, was initially tracking for $8 million by the studio. It is based on the book by Seth Grahame-Smith of the same name, parodying Jane Austen‘s 1813 masterpiece. It currently holds a CinemaScore of B-, but 41 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Hail, Caesar!” costarring Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill and Alden Ehrenreich, also surprised on Friday, as it was initially tracking for $9.5 million heading into the weekend.

“Hail, Caesar!” chronicles the chaos that arises at a movie studio in the Golden Age of Hollywood after the town’s biggest star (Clooney) is kidnapped during a major production. It’s the best reviewed new release, with a 79 percent “fresh” approval rating from critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes, but a CinemaScore of C-. 

“The Choice,” Sparks’ 11th book to be adapted to the big screen, has a CinemaScore of B+, marking the best score of the newcomers on that platform, however, it received terrible reviews on Rotten Tomatoes so far, scoring a meager 6 percent.

Leonardo DiCaprio‘s “The Revenant” is still going strong in its sixth week in wide release — as predicted — and grossed $2 million on Friday. This weekend, it is expected to make $6.8 million, bringing its total domestic gross to $149.4 million.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” achieved a huge milestone Friday, crossing the $900 million domestic barrier, the only film in history to reach that milestone. On Saturday, it is likely to cross the $2 billion worldwide mark.

While this weekend’s box office seems promising as “Hail, Caesar!” and “The Choice” do better than expected, come Sunday, most movies will be impacted by the Super Bowl, in which the Carolina Panthers are slated to play the Denver Broncos.

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