‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ to Give Leonardo DiCaprio Another Bear Beatdown at Box Office

Animated sequel is heading for $45 million weekend, enough to beat “The Revenant,” “Fifty Shades of Black” and “The Finest Hours”

Hugh Glass, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character in “The Revenant,” is going to have another run-in with a bear when DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 3” arrives in theaters Friday.

And just as in the Alejandro G. Iñárritu-directed Oscar contender, the smart money at the box office is on the bear. “Kung Fu Panda 3” will take in $45 million-plus and knock “The Revenant” out of the top spot, according to the analysts.

Fox, which is distributing both films, would be happy if Po (voiced by Jack Black) and his posse (Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Dustin Hoffman) can match the $47 million that the last sequel debuted with in May of 2011. Advance sales for “KFP 3” were outpacing both that film and DWA’s last release “Home,” which opened to $52 million last March.

fifty shades of blackMarlon Wayans‘ spoof “Fifty Shades of Black” and Disney’s sea rescue thriller “The Finest Hours” also open wide this weekend and appear headed in different directions. The “Fifty Shades” send-up from Open Road Films was made for $5 million and is tracking at around $15 million and could go higher. The Chris Pine-Casey Affleck Coast Guard tale cost $80 million to make and is looking at a $10 million first weekend.

“Kung Fu Panda 3” is a co-production of DWA and Shanghai-based Oriental Dreamworks, a consortium of Chinese companies, the first time an animated movie has ever been produced by a Chinese and an American company.

It seems to have worked. “Kung Fu Panda 3” has been well-reviewed and is at 80 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes. Fox has found a good date to roll it out too, since it won’t face any competition for the kiddies until early March, when Disney rolls out “Zootopia.”

“Fifty Shades of Black” represents a major shift for Open Road Films, which has been busy with its Oscar Best Picture contender “Spotlight” for the past few weeks. Don’t be surprised if this one over-performs — it’s Wayans doing what Wayans fans want to see.

The R-rated spoof of the steamy Universal Pictures hit “Fifty Shades of Grey” is directed by Michael Tiddes, and was scripted Wayans and his partner Rick Alvarez. It will be in roughly 2,150 theaters.

Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) and Tchuda Southerland (Josh Stewart) struggle to keep their ship, the SS Pendleton, from sinking in Disney's THE FINEST HOURS, the heroic action-thriller presented in Digital 3D (TM) and IMAX (c) 3D based on the extrordinary tur story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard.Disney’s “The Finest Hours” is based on the true story of the 1952 Pendleton rescue mission attempt, in which Coast Guard ships labored to save the crews of two oil tanks destroyed in a massive storm.

Eric Bana, Ben Foster, John Ortiz and Holliday Grainger join Pine and Affleck in the thriller, which is directed by Craig Gillespie.

The reviews aren’t strong at 30 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes, and the film’s social media profile isn’t either. It’s in the range of “McFarland, USA,” an inspirational sports saga that debuted to $10 million last February. It will be in roughly 3,000 theaters, a number of them IMAX.

Jane got a gun“Jane Got a Gun,” the Western starring Natalie Portman that was originally at Relativity, will open on roughly 550 screens for the Weinstein Company.

Friday’s debut will mark the end of a long and winding road for the film, which is drawn from Jim Duffield’s 2011 BlackList script. It is directed by Gavin O’Connor and co-stars Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor and Noah Emmerich.

At one point, Michael Fassbender, Jude Law and Bradley Cooper were all set for roles in the film, but they dropped out. Law exited in 2012, when original director Lynne Ramsey exited.

TWC acquired the domestic rights to “Jane Got a Gun” last summer, after its attorney David Bois was able to secure them prior to the Relativity bankruptcy auction. Boies’ law partner Jonathan Schiller is the father of Zach Schiller, a producer on the film.

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