The Panda Messes with the Zohan


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures based on actual box office.

It certainly seemed like a rematch this weekend as DreamWorks Animation took on Adam Sandler for the first time since Madagascar just narrowly defeated Sandler’s remake of The Longest Yard over Memorial Day weekend in 2005. This weekend, their newest animated family comedy Kung Fu Panda, featuring the voices of Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman, clobbered Sandler’s latest character comedy You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (Sony), grossing an estimated $60 million to “Zohan’s” $40 million over the first weekend of June.

For Sandler, $40 million is about average compared to his past movies with “Zohan” looking to be his 4th or 5th biggest opener, but $60 million is huge boon for DreamWorks Animation, making Kung Fu Panda their biggest non-sequel opening as well as their third-biggest opening movie after Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third, putting the movie closer to the amount made opening weekend by most of their competitor Pixar Animation’s bigger movies. Having opened the movie in over 4,100 theaters including IMAX screens, the film’s success is a huge blessing for distributor Paramount who has released the top 3 openers of the year so far (as well as the top 2 grossing movies Iron Man and “Indiana Jones”). Kung Fu Panda is likely to join other DreamWorks Animation hits Madagascar and Shark Tale by making upwards of $180 million over the summer.

Paramount’s other hit, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull crossed the $250 million mark domestically, dropping to third place with $22.8 million, narrowly edging out the HBO series spin-off Sex and the City (New Line). The blockbuster chick flick tanked in its second weekend, dropping 63% from its record-setting opening weekend with $21.3 million to take its box office total to just under the $100 million mark.

Internationally, “Crystal Skull” added $36 million for a total of $326 million and worldwide total of $579 million.

Fifth place went to the Rogue Pictures’ horror hit The Strangers with $9.3 million, also a significant drop from its breakout weekend. Marvel Studios and Paramount’s Iron Man edged closer to $300 million domestically with another $7.5 million of box office, bringing its total to $289 million, while Disney’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian dropped to 7th place with $5.5 million and a disappointing four-week gross of $125 million.

Overseas, Iron Man collected $4.8 million to push its worldwide total to $538 million.

The Cameron Diaz-Ashton Kutcher romantic comedy What Happens in Vegas (20th Century Fox) continues to hold up well and do solid business despite many new movies and it added $3.4 million to its total gross of $72 million in ninth place.

The Top 10 grossed an estimated $171.4 million, up a whopping 32% from the same June-opening weekend last year.

Opening in New York and L.A., Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov’s Oscar-nominated epic Mongol (Picturehouse) opened strongly, grossing $133 thousand in 5 theaters and averaging $26k per theater. Other new movies in limited release included Anand Tucker’s drama When Did You Last See Your Father? (Sony Classics) which grossed $41 thousand and the comedy The Promotion (Third Rail) with $29 thousand over the weekend.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.