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"Kung Fu Panda" Takes 2nd @ Box Office; Opens to Protest and Big Sales in China

DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda took second place at the box office in its debut weekend, earning an estimated $47.835 million in sales over the 3 day weekend and $62.2 million for the 4-day holiday weekend. The totals put it behind the original movie’s box office when it was released three years ago ($60.3 million for the weekend and $72.6 million for the holiday weekend), and 3-D ticket sales accounted for 45% of business. The numbers also put the film well behind the box office’s top earner, The Hangover II, which took in an estimated $86.035 million for May 27-29 and $105.765 million for May 27-30.

The movie got a warmer reception overseas, with a $57 million gross in 11 markets to pull up neck-and-neck with the international release of The Hangover II. The opening of the film in China was met with protests along with crowds, however, as artist Zhao Bandi took out ads in papers calling for a boycott of the film as twisting Chinese culture and exhorting theater owners not to “fool our next generation with American ‘fast food.'” Bandi also protested the original film, and is joined by Kong Qingdong, a professor of Chinese language at Peking University who called the Chinese elements of the movie a “cultural invasion.”

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