Kung Fu Panda Beats Projections
By Carl DiOrio
8 June 2008
"Kung Fu Panda" kicked Adam Sandler's butt at the boxoffice this weekend, as the DreamWorks Animation comedy opened even bigger than expected with an estimated $60 million domestically.
"Panda" -- distributed by Paramount, which handled three of the weekend's top six films -- drew mostly positive reviews. Its audiences were comprised 55% of females, with 51% of its patrons 25 and older. "Panda," which marked DWA's biggest three-day opening for a non-sequel, seemed to draw more non-family business than anticipated, execs said.
"It probably resonated better than expected with the adults," Paramount marketing maven Anne Globe said. "We really tried to show that the movie had comedy, action and lots of heart, and you can really see that audiences and critics alike embraced the movie."
"Panda" voice actors include Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie. Black in particular was credited with helping to bring older demos in the mix of first-weekend patrons.
Outpaced by a pair of sequels in the animation studio's "Shrek" franchise and a four-day bow for 2005's "Madagascar," "Panda" had pre-release expectations more comparable to DWA's family comedy "Over the Hedge." "Hedge" opened in May 2006 with $38.5 million.
The "Panda" debut included $2.3 million rung up from 89 of Imax's giant-screen venues.