MOVIE BOX OFFICE
Coen brothers, Nicholas Sparks and zombies couldn't stand up to the Dragon Warrior and his panda compatriots this weekend as Kung Fu Panda 3 held the top spot for a second weekend in a row.
The box office closed out one of its strongest Januarys ever with another sequel in the number one spot, only the second new release this month managing to take top honors.
The Revenant finally had its day in the sun (or at least out of the cold) this weekend, holding out a little stronger than its major competition to land a weekend at number one.
When someone makes a comedy that makes money, no matter how boring that comedy might have been, a sequel is almost guaranteed. That was the case for Ride Along 2 this weekend which didn't quite hold up to its predecessor at the box office but still did its studio proud.
The Revenant made a strong showing on Friday, topping Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but as the weekend contintued Star Wars pulled ahead to top the box office for a fourth weekend in a row.
Most movies with massive openings tend to drop off more quickly than others, but the seventh Star Wars film continues to buck that trend, slipping just 40% each weekend, retaining a death grip on the number one spot and securing a truly significant place in box office history: biggest domestic total of all time.
What do you get when you mix one of the world's most popular sci-fi fantasy franchises with the world's most effective corporate marketing machine? Audiences willing to turn over ridiculous amounts of money in painfully short amounts of time to create a record breaking box office monster?
Weekend Box Office: In The Heart of the Sea Flounders As Mockingjay - Part 2 Fishes Up A Fourth Number One
Mockingjay - Part 2 has struggled to make the kinds of money the three previous Hunger Games franchise entries have made, but this weekend it got a small badge of honor of its own to wear as the only new comer handed it an early Christmas gift.
Despite sliding a hefty 60%+ this weekend, the absence of anything new except a holiday horror flick left The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 a clear opening to remain on top for a third weekend in a row.
This Thanksgiving ended up looking a lot like last year: a Mockingjay movie taking first place for the second weekend in a row, followed by new releases of an animated feature and a sequel no one really wanted but people went to see anyway.
It's hard to call an opening higher than $100 million weak, but the arrival of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 hit the box office with more of an underwhelming pop than a finale explosion.
There wasn't even like, much less love for Love The Coopers which debuted at number three with just $8 million. You might consider that amount of money something of a success given the bashing it received at the hands of critics, but Love The Coopers is set to be a holiday bust for CBS films.
November came crashing into theaters this weekend, finally pushing the lingering successes of a weak October out of the way and setting up what is likely to be one of the stronger holiday seasons at the box office.
It's exciting when a movie is so fantastic and does such a great job capturing audiences' imagination that it dominates the box office for several weeks on end. But it's a little sad when a movie holds on to the number one spot because, well, frankly there just isn't anything better to see at the cinema.
Four new wide release movies hit theaters this weekend and all four tanked in ways that make it easy to remember why October is considered the refuse dump Hollywood makes before making the jump to light speed for the holidays.
After two weekends at number one The Martian dropped low enough to let some of the usual October doldrum entries have a shot at number one. One of the 20th century's most popular children's book series got an adaptation and took the opportunity.
Bad form, Peter! Audiences had little to no interest in newcomer fantasy Pan which opened this weekend to lackluster reviews and a wince-worthy box office turn out. That left last weekend's top earner The Martian holding a tight orbit around the number one spot for a second time around.
Pan is already looking like it's going to be a costly flop for Warner Bros., which means that any hopes of it blossoming into a franchise are almost certainly already over.
October is known more for horror sequels and second tier animated movies than box office hits, but in the last couple of years top shelf sci-fi entries have started replacing the likes of Jackass 3-D and Paranormal Activity 3 as the month's top openers.
Hotel Transylvania 2 proved that the Sony franchise has some strong life behind it, out-performing its predecessor and holding up against the other second-tier animated franchises on the market.