Jack Black is back kicking it again as Po in Dreamworks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 3, out next weekend. The threequel comes nearly five years after the second installment with a slew of famous faces voicing characters in the martial arts comedy toon. They include Angelina Jolie Pitt, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson, J.K. Simmons, and David Cross.
In 2008, the original Panda chopped its way to a fabulous $60 million opening on its way to a $215 million domestic haul. The inevitable 2011 sequel couldn’t quite match that performance with a $47 million premiere and $165 million take. Part 3, unlike its two predecessors, isn’t debuting in the summer so competition is less steep. That said, the five year old layover could lead to slightly dwindling returns once again.
Kung Fu Panda 3 will almost undoubtedly set one record: biggest animated opening of all time in January (it only needs to top the $19.4 million accomplished by The Nut Job two years ago). It should double that at least, but I’ll predict it has the lowest opening of the trio.
Kung Fu Panda 3 opening weekend prediction: $41.7 million
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