“The Karate Kid,” starring Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith as a young martial artist and Jackie Chan as his mentor, earned $56 million during the three days beginning Friday, according to estimates provided by its distributor, Columbia Pictures.
The $40 million picture, shot in China, played strongly with youngsters, the Sony Corp unit said, with people under 25 accounting for 56 percent of the audience.
Both “Karate Kid” and “A-Team” had been expected to vie for the top spot, each in the $30 million range.
Instead, “The A-Team” opened with $26 million, said 20th Century Fox. The News Corp unit hoped the $90 million film action picture would benefit from strong word of mouth among young viewers, even if critics hated the adaptation of the TV series about a team of renegade soldiers of fortune.
Last weekend’s champion, “Shrek Forever After,” fell to No. 3 with $15.8 million. The four-week total for the DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc-produced cartoon rose to $210.1 million.