The long wait for the final Wolverine movie is finally over, with 20th Century Fox debuting their new superhero movie Logan in theaters for Thursday previews last night. Many box office analysts had predicted that the movie would take in anywhere between $60 million and $70 million in its opening weekend, and while we won't have the full tally until Sunday, when the weekend estimates roll in, the movie certainly is off to a good start. Logan took in an impressive $9.5 million from Thursday previews, the third-highest tally ever for an R-rated movie.
Deadline reports that Logan's $9.5 million Thursday total comes just behind The Hangover Part II ($10.4 million) and last year's Deadpool ($12.7 million). The movie had previously been tracking for an opening weekend tally between $60 million and $70 million, but now some analysts believe it could debut between $75 million and $80 million. With this sizable Thursday debut, an $80 million opening is certainly feasible. The Hangover Part II opened at $85.1 million back in 2011, while Deadpool opened with a record-shattering $132.4 million opening weekend last February.
The movie is the most critically-acclaimed of all the X-Men movies, currently sitting at an impressive 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It's possible that it could surpass the $85 million debut of X-Men: Origins: Wolverine in 2009. That critically-panned movie suffered a huge 69% drop in its second weekend, en route to a domestic total of $179.8 million and a worldwide tally of $373 million from a $150 million budget. 2013's The Wolverine fared a bit worse domestically, with a $53.1 million opening weekend en route to $132.5 million domestic, although it performed better in international markets with a worldwide total of $414.8 million worldwide, from a $120 million budget.
It was also confirmed this week that Logan will have a Deadpool 2 teaser attached to it, which surprised many fans since the highly-anticipated sequel won't even start production until later this summer. There have been rumors of a Deadpool vs. Wolverine movie as of late, but Hugh Jackman has stated numerous times that Logan will in fact be his final Wolverine movie. Of course, it's possible that the actor could change his mind a few years from now, but it seems that his mind is made up, and Logan will in fact be his swan song for the Wolverine character, which he first started playing nearly 17 years ago with the first X-Men movie in 2000.
In 2024 the mutant population has shrunk significantly and the X-Men have disbanded. Logan, whose power to self-heal is dwindling, has surrendered himself to alcohol and now earns a living as a chauffeur. He takes care of the ailing old Professor X whom he keeps hidden away. One day, a female stranger asks Logan to drive a girl named Laura to the Canadian border. At first he refuses, but the Professor has been waiting for a long time for her to appear. Laura possesses an extraordinary fighting prowess and is in many ways like Wolverine. She is pursued by sinister figures working for a powerful corporation; this is because her DNA contains the secret that connects her to Logan. A relentless pursuit begins ... In this third cinematic outing featuring the Marvel comic book character Wolverine we see the superheroes beset by everyday problems. They are aging, ailing and struggling to survive financially. A decrepit Logan is forced to ask himself if he can or even wants to put his remaining powers to good use. It would appear that in the near-future, the times in which they were able put the world to rights with razor sharp claws and telepathic powers are now over. Check back on Sunday to see how Logan fares at the box office.