The beastly battle for this weekend’s box office crown wasn’t even close.
Legendary and Warner Bros.’ revival of the iconic King Kong film series, Kong: Skull Island, delivers a whopping $61 million, earning an estimated $11 million more than Peter Jackson’s 2005 series retool, which went on to gross $550 million worldwide across its entire theatrical run.
Industry forecasts had initially pegged Kong: Skull Island — directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts — for a bow in the $40-$50 million range in a tight race with Fox’s Logan, though the mightiest primate in cinema history ultimately flexed his staying power at the head of one of the oldest franchises (one that spans movies, theme park attractions, video games, and toys) in Hollywood history some 84 years after the first Kong flick dazzled audiences all the way back in 1933.
The debut marks a solid start for the big-budget picture, which reportedly cost around $185 million to produce. Internationally, the film posts $81.6 million from 20,400 screens in 65 territories, making it the No. 1-grossing film in the world for the three-day period. Audiences and critics responded positively to the action film, with polled moviegoers giving it a B+ grade on CinemaScore.
Despite glowing reception for Logan, X-Men star Hugh Jackman’s third and final Wolverine spinoff fell roughly 57 percent from its opening number, dipping one slot to No. 2 with an estimated weekend gross of $37.9 million. After just 10 days in theaters, however, the Fox film has made an astonishing $438.3 million worldwide — besting global grosses of both X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($373.1 million in 2009) and The Wolverine ($414.8 million in 2013).
At No. 3, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out continues to impress, as the film — yet another low-budgeted success for Universal/Blumhouse — crosses the $111 million domestic mark with a third weekend total of $21.1 million. The thriller continues its slow descent down the North American top 10, having fallen a mere 15 percent from week one to week two, followed by 25 percent this week.
Rounding out the top five are the Lionsgate/Summit release The Shack, which pulls in another $10.1 million for a 10-day total of $32.3 million, and Warner Bros. Animation’s The LEGO Batman Movie, which sheds 33 percent for a fifth-weekend finish of $7.8 million.
On the limited front, Focus World’s buzzy cannibal title Raw tallies an estimated $25,230 from two theaters. Helmed by French filmmaker Julia Ducournau, Raw made headlines along the festival circuit — namely at TIFF in September, where several audience members reportedly fainted during one of the film’s particularly graphic scenes.
Kristen Stewart carried her Cannes drama Personal Shopper to a healthy start at four sites in New York and Los Angeles, averaging $23,129 per theater for a $92,516 finish at No. 30.
Overall box office is up around 0.3 percent from the same frame last year. Per comScore, check out the March 10-12 weekend box office estimates below.
1. Kong: Skull Island – $61 million
2. Logan – $37.9 million
3. Get Out – $21.1 million
4. The Shack – $10.1 million
5. The LEGO Batman Movie – $7.8 million
6. Before I Fall – $3.1 million
7. Hidden Figures – $2.8 million
8. John Wick: Chapter 2 – $2.7 million
9. MET Opera: La Traviata – $1.8 million
10. La La Land $1.8 million