Box office preview: Kong: Skull Island, Logan to wage beastly battle
Hollywood’s largest primate goes head-to-head with the industry’s reigning comic book mutant this weekend, as Kong: Skull Island launches into theaters as Fox’s X-Men spinoff Logan prepares for its second crack at topping the box office. Which beast will come out on top? Check out EW’s March 10-12 box office estimates below.
1. Logan – $47 million
With passionate support from fans on his side, Wolverine just might claw his way to the top of the North American box office for a second consecutive week. The formula for a repeat is there: Logan made over $250 million worldwide across its debut weekend, and has earned stellar reviews — including light Oscar buzz — from critics and audiences alike. The only thing standing in Logan‘s way is the potentially mammoth earning power of fellow tentpole Kong: Skull Island.
While Kong is expected to put up a sturdy fight, with strong word-of-mouth on its side, Logan could buck the trend of its superhero-centric brethren by shedding less than 50 percent of its opening crowds, meaning a No. 1 finish is still on the table for the James Mangold-directed picture.
2. Kong: Skull Island – $45 million
Though the King Kong franchise has remained dormant since Peter Jackson’s 2005 take on the creature classic, things could heat up this weekend as Legendary and Warner Bros. unleash their rebooted actioner Kong: Skull Island to 3,846 domestic theaters. The (roughly) $185 million production, fronted by an ensemble cast that includes Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, and John Goodman, has received solid critical response thus far — a healthy sign for the film’s staying power if it sticks its landing with audiences, too.
Following Thursday evening previews in North America, Skull Island also hits 65 international markets in the days ahead, with a Chinese release date scheduled for March 24. Like many big-budgeted Hollywood features, Kong will likely earn more overseas than it will in the U.S. and Canada, and that’s not a bad thing. Universal’s Warcraft underwhelmed stateside, though it pulled triple-digit grosses from foreign territories, finishing its run in excess of $433 million.
While a first-weekend number in the typical blockbuster range is unlikely, given that its closest competitor, Logan, has been over-performing with a similar demographic, look for the film to post around $40-$50 million.
3. Get Out – $20 million
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut captured the zeitgeist — and moviegoer attention — with its racially-charged narrative, grossing a staggering $87.4 million in just 13 days on a $4.5 million budget, to boot. After shedding a mere 15 percent from week one to week two, Get Out, from Universal and Blumhouse, proved its staying power. As the most prominent (and buzziest) horror release on the market, Get Out should make around $18-$21 million over its third go-round.
4. The Shack – $10 million
Faith-based films have a distinct way of captivating their target audience, roping them in, and maintaining a consistent grip; The Shack will be no exception. Fronted by Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer, The Shack made a decent $16.2 million last week, putting it in prime position to exceed its reported $25 million production budget. Jennifer Garner’s Miracles From Heaven bowed to a similar number last year, and went on to cross the $60 million line by the end of its theatrical run. Expect The Shack to follow in that film’s footsteps, falling between 20 and 40 percent through Sunday.
5. The LEGO Batman Movie – $7 million
The bricks are finally breaking down across Warner Bros. Animations’ third major release as the end of The LEGO Batman Movie‘s theatrical run draws closer. The film has thus far topped $150 million, and should add another $5-$8 million this weekend.
Elsewhere, a pair of festival favorites enter the limited market; Kristen Stewart’s Cannes drama Personal Shopper and Julia Ducournau‘s gritty Raw — which reportedly made audiences faint at the Toronto International Film Festival in September — creep into a handful of theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday. Both should do solid business thanks to pre-release buzz, though Personal Shopper will likely edge out Raw thanks to Stewart’s star power.