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Box Office: ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Triumphs Again as Mark Wahlberg’s ‘Arthur the King’ Limps to $7.5 Million Debut

Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 4” remained victorious at the domestic box office, collecting a solid $30 million in its second weekend of release. After 10 days on the big screen, the animated family film has grossed $107.7 million in North America and $176.5 million globally.

Those ticket sales easily surpassed the debut of Mark Wahlberg’s canine drama “Arthur the King,” which opened in third place. It arrived on the lower end of expectations with a soft $7.5 million from 3,003 theaters. Lionsgate spent $19 million on the feel-good story, about a man who befriends a wounded stray dog, so its modest price tag could soften its box office shortcomings. Though critics weren’t fond of “Arthur the King” (it has a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes), moviegoers were more receptive and gave the film an “A” grade on CinemaScore.

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“It’s not a family film or a comedy, but it’s not a hard adventure for moviegoers who like edgier entertainment,” says David A. Gross of movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “All of that complicates the sell.”

Another newcomer, Focus Features’ satirical comedy “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” stumbled to the No. 9 spot. The film scraped together just $1.25 million from 1,146 venues — a smaller screen count than the average wide release. Reviews and word-of-mouth may not help “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” which has a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes. First-time filmmaker Kobi Libii directed the movie, starring Justice Smith and David Alan Grier, about a young man who is recruited to an organization that exists to make life easier for white people.

In a close second place, “Dune: Part Two” added a mighty $29 million from 3,847 venues in its third weekend of release. Ticket sales only declined 37% from the weekend prior. So far, the sci-fi sequel has grossed $205 million in North America and more than $400 million globally. In the coming week, “Dune 2” will outgross its predecessor, which generated $433 million at the worldwide box office while landing day-and-date on HBO Max in the U.S. and Canada.

Lionsgate’s Blumhouse thriller “Imaginary” took fourth place with $5.5 million from 3,118 locations. After two weeks of release, the movie — a horror film about a woman who is tormented by her old teddy bear named Chauncey — has earned $19 million. Lucky for the studio, “Imaginary” cost around $11 million, so it’s decently positioned in its theatrical run.

Angel Studio’s faith-based biographical drama “Cabrini” has rounded out the top five. The film added $2.9 million from 2,850 theaters, boosting its domestic tally to $13 million.

Overall, the domestic box office remains 9.6% behind 2023, according to Comscore. Up next, Sony’s fantasy-comedy sequel “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” (March 22) and Warner Bros. and Legendary’s monster mashup “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” (March 29) hope to close the month on a high note.

“‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ and then ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ should collectively offer a boost to the year-to-date box office,” says senior Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “April will hopefully supply some unexpected hits that will help to build momentum into what looks to be a solid summer movie season for theaters.”

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