‘Arthur The King’ Seizes $825K In Previews; ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ To Reign Supreme With $30M+ Second Weekend – Friday AM Box Office

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In a frame that will see Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 rally with a second weekend take of around $30M (-48%), three wide entries hit cinemas, the biggest being Lionsgate’s Mark Wahlberg canine sports movie Arthur the King with an eye on $8M-$10M at 3,003 locations. The movie directed by Simon Cellan Jones made $825K in previews last night, which bests the $550K previews made by Wahlberg’s 2018 movie, Instant Family, that movie opening in a very pre-pandemic, pre Thanksgiving period to $14.5M.

Rotten Tomatoes reviews are at 63% fresh, but the portal’s audiences love Arthur the King more at 93%.

Based on a true story, pic takes plays during a ten day pro adventure race of 435 miles as Michael Light (Wahlberg) bonds with scrappy street dog Arthur. Light, desperate for one last chance to win, convinces a sponsor to back him and a team of athletes (Simu Liu, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Ali Suliman) for the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic. As the team is pushed to their outer limits of endurance in the race, Arthur redefines what victory, loyalty and friendship truly mean.

The $19M feature production, as Deadline first reported, saw its domestic rights move from Paramount Players to Lionsgate. Pic’s offshore rights were sold during the Covid Cannes virtual via One-backed international sales firm Sierra/Affinity. Entertainment One (eOne) and Tucker Tooley Entertainment co-financed.

'Love Lies Bleeding' podcast interview with director Rose Glass

A24’s Sundance Film Festival premiere, Love Lies Bleeding, expands to 1,300 theaters this weekend from five NYC and LA sites with an eye at $2M. The Lesbian crime noir is 92% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie made $167K last weekend for a per theater of $33,5K. The Rose Glass directed, Kristen Stewart-Katy M. O’Brian starring movie played at the Regal Union Square (which led the packed last weekend), AMC Lincoln Square, AMC Burbank, Grove and Century City.

The American Society of Magical Negroes movie

Focus Features’ has Kobi Libii’s feature directorial debut, The American Society of Magical Negroes, at 1,146 theaters. The movie also world premiered at Sundance. Critics are hard on the feature at 29% on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s expected to also open in the low single digit millions. The satirical comedy follows a young man, Aren, who is recruited into a secret society of magical Black people who dedicate their lives to a cause of utmost importance: making white people more comfortable. Although initially enamored with his new powers, Aren begins to question the value of using supernatural means to do the very thing he’s felt obligated to do his whole life.

Timothée Chalamet in Dune: Part Two movie

Legendary Entertainment/Warner Bros.’ Dune: Part Two won Thursday with $4.4M, -1% from Wednesday for a second week of $65.1M at 4,074 and a running total of $176.1M. The sci-fi ensemble, fueled by Imax and PLFs, is expected to be down in the -40% range in weekend 3 with a take around $27M.

Kung Fu Panda 4 was very close to Dune 2‘s Thursday take with $4.390M, +5% from Wednesday with a first week haul of $77.7M at 4,035 theaters.

Third for the week is Lionsgate/Blumhouse’s Imaginary with a first week of $13.5M after an estimated $807K Thursday, -1% from Wednesday at 3,118 venues.

Angel Studios’ Cabrini at 2,840 theaters saw $592K on Thursday, -11% from Wednesday for a first week of $10.1M.

Fifth belongs to Paramount’s Bob Marley: One Love at 2,764 theaters with a fourth Thursday estimated at $372K for a fourth week of $5.8M and running total of $91M.

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