NEW YORK — The Coen brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!” and the Jane Austen-monster mashup “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” followed distantly behind “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which remained on top of the box office over Super Bowl weekend.

DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda” sequel earned an estimated $21 million in its second weekend of release, according to studio estimates Sunday. Joel and Ethan Coen’s ’50s Hollywood satire “Hail, Caesar!” opened in second place with an estimated $11.4 million in North American theaters for Universal Pictures.

The two other major new releases struggled.

The Nicholas Sparks’ romance “The Choice” debuted with $6.1 million for Lionsgate. Despite expectations of a No. 2 opening, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” bankrolled by Cross Creek Picture and released by Sony’s Screen Gems, eked out a meager $5.2 million.

Though the majority of weekend grosses are made on Fridays and Saturdays, Hollywood generally seeks to avoid competing with the football broadcast and instead sticks largely to counterprogramming. The best Super Bowl weekend remains the 2008 concert film “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus” ($31.1 million) followed by an earlier Sparks adaption, 2010’s “Dear John” ($30.5 million).

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, called Super Bowl weekend a trade-off for studios that sacrifice a day of moviegoing for the promotional benefit of the game’s mass audience. A number of movie previews were set to play during the broadcast.

“It’s one of those weekends that Hollywood braces for but they know how to course correct before it happens,” Dergarabedian said.

– The Associated Press


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