20th Century Fox's Logan proved to be a lucrative swan song for Hugh Jackman's title character, as the final Wolverine movie became a box office hit with a huge $88.4 million opening weekend, which is actually $3.1 million more than the $85.3. million estimate posted on Sunday. This weekend, it only has one new competitor, Warner Bros.' Kong: Skull Island, which is shaping up to give Logan a run for its money in what could be a very close brawl at the box office. We're predicting that Logan holds onto the crown for one more weekend, taking in $42.6 million, with Kong: Skull Island not too far behind.
Box Office Mojo doesn't have any data regarding how many theaters Kong: Skull Island will open in, but it's already shaping up to be a critical hit. Early reviews have put this King Kong adventure at an impressive 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 42 positive reviews out of 51. While it's certainly possible that this could wildly exceed expectations, much like Logan this past weekend, we're predicting that Kong: Skull Island will debut in a solid second place with $40.8 million. Given how close those predictions are, and how big tentpole movies have been exceeding and surpassing projections, it wouldn't be surprising if Kong: Skull Island opens much higher, but we're sticking with our $40.8 million projection for now.
If this projection is accurate, it will come in far less than 2014's Godzilla, which opened huge with $93.1 million in 2014, but dropped a massive 66.8% in its second weekend and 61.2% in its third weekend, closing its domestic run with $200.6 million with a worldwide tally of $529 million, from a $160 million budget. We reported last week that the Kong: Skull Island post-credit scene will tie into the upcoming Godzilla: King of Monsters, arriving in 2019, which will then tie into Godzilla vs. Kong, debuting in 2020. While Kong: Skull Island may not have a bigger debut than Godzilla, it may have more longevity at the box office and have a better overall run at the box office, but we'll have to wait and see.
In the spirit of its worldwide blockbuster Godzilla, Legendary Pictures presents a bold new take on the mythos of another iconic beast with Kong: Skull Island, which stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers and Thor series). Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) and written by John Gatins (Flight) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla), Kong: Skull Island will fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island. Legendary's story honors the foundations of existing King Kong lore, but places it in an entirely new, distinct timeline. Thomas Tull (Godzilla, The Dark Knight, Pacific Rim) and Jon Jashni (Godzilla, Warcraft) will produce and Alex Garcia (Godzilla) will executive produce. The film will be released in 3D and IMAX 3D by Universal Pictures.
The critically-acclaimed Logan also had a strong overseas debut, with $159 million, for a global total of $247.4 million. The story is set in the year 2024, where 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.
The top 5 will be rounded out by the horror hit Get Out dropping to third place with $18.6 million, followed by The Shack in fourth place with $8.1 million and The LEGO Batman Movie in fifth place with $6.4 million The top 10 will be rounded out by Before I Fall ($2.9 million), John Wick: Chapter 2 ($2.3 million), Hidden Figures ($2.1 million), The Great Wall ($1.9 million) and La La Land $1.5 million. Also opening in limited release this weekend is FIP's romantic comedy Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Parade Deck Films' The Dark Below, Brainstorm Media's dram The Other Half, Paladin's drama The Ottoman Lieutenant, IFC's thriller Personal Shopper, Focus World's horror film Raw, CBS Films' drama The Sense of an Ending and Strand's foreign drama Suntan. It remains to be seen if any of these films will expand into a wide release in the weeks and months ahead.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Disney brings its highly-anticipated Beauty and the Beast live-action adaptation to the big screen, going up against the R-rated thriller The Belko Experiment. Also opening in limited release is the long-awaited sequel T2: Trainspotting, which will have expansions on March 24 and March 31 respectively, Well Go USA's thriller Bluebeard and Freestyle Releasing's Burn Your Maps. Take a look at our top 10 projections for the weekend of March 10, and check back Sunday for the box office estimates, and on next Tuesday for our next wave of predictions.