‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ and ‘Dune: Part Two’ in a tight box office battle for No. 1

Less than $1 million separates the fourth ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and second ‘Dune’ movies.

‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ and ‘Dune: Part Two’ in a tight box office battle for No. 1
Jack Black’s Po in Kung Fu Panda 4 and Zendaya in Dune: Part Two. / DreamWorks Animation, Warner Bros.

Hello! Welcome to The Box Office Report for the weekend of March 15-17, 2024.

1. Kung Fu Panda 4

Weekend gross: $30M
Total domestic gross: $107.7M
Last weekend: 1st
Percent drop: 48

It was another successful weekend at the box office, with Kung Fu Panda 4 and Dune: Part Two leading the way. Based on Sunday estimates, the fourth Kung Fu Panda movie has a tiny edge over Dune: Part Two. When the actual numbers come in on Monday, we’ll know for sure whether Po held onto the No. 1 spot for a second weekend — or if Paul fulfilled his destiny and reclaimed the top spot. (Denis Velleneuve cut out the part of Dune where Paul had to retake a box office to become the Lisan al Gaib.)

Even if Kung Fu Panda 4 slips to No. 2, it’s had a great two weekends so far. The film stands at $107.7 million over that amount of time, better than Kung Fu Panda 2 ($100 million) and Kung Fu Panda 3 ($69.3 million) over that same amount of time. The latest film in the franchise trails only the original Kung Fu Panda’s $117.3 million over two weekends.

That $107.7 million number makes Kung Fu Panda 4 only the second 2024 film to cross the $100 million mark.

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2. Dune: Part Two

Weekend gross: $29.1M
Total domestic gross: $205.3M
Last weekend: 2nd
Percent drop: 37

I’m going to keep doing it, but it’s pretty ridiculous to compare Dune: Part Two’s box office performance to its predecessor. The original Dune hit theaters while Warner Bros. was also releasing its new films on HBO Max.

Taking that into consideration, Dune: Part Two has not only outgrossed Dune over its first three weekends ($205.3 million to $84.1 million), it’s already outgrossed the first Dune’s entire domestic ($110 million) and worldwide ($494.7 million to $431.2 million) runs.

The self restraint it’s taken for Warner Bros. Discovery to not announce Dune Messiah has to be killing the studio’s executives. CEO David Zaslav is hungry for successful franchises, and it would be easy to tack four more Dune movies on the calendar for the next five to six years. Instead, it seems like Villeneuve is firmly in control of this franchise. He’s (hopefully) going to make a third Dune movie. We all just need to wait until he’s ready.