Weekend Box Office (March 3 - 5, 2017)
THIS WEEKEND Audiences around the world gathered together for Wolverine's last adventure as Fox's comic book actioner Logan opened to muscular results at number one in North America and across the globe to the tune of $237.9M.
The stellar domestic debut weekend pulled in an estimated $85.3M from 4,071 locations for a scorching $20,953 average. It was the fifth largest opening weekend of all-time for an R-rated film and the fourth best ever for any film launching in March.
Critics and audiences both loved the violent road film as reviews over the past two weeks were terrific helping to boost buzz, and ticket buyers polled by CinemaScore gave a nice A-. The movie presented familiar characters, but also added many new elements to the table. Positive buzz should keep sales going throughout March on its way into the $200M club beating most installments from the X-Men and Wolverine franchises.
Studio data showed that the audience was 63% male and 68% over 25 which was not surprising as the story follows Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart's iconic characters as older men in the future.
Logan dipped only 5% on Saturday which is a fantastic hold coming off of opening day which includes Thursday night pre-shows. A 10% decline would have been good. Word-of-mouth is strong here and the heroes hope to keep the numbers solid in the coming weeks which will not be easy given the arrival of big-budget offerings heading to theaters this month. The budget of Logan is reported to be under $100M.
Overseas openings were robust as 81 markets delivered a weekend take of $152.6M led by China's $46.3M. America's R-rated films often are not allowed into that market but Logan made the cut and is reaping the rewards. The debut there was 33% bigger than X-Men: Days of Future Past. Japan is the only major market not to open this weekend and the global final could find its way north of $600M.
More R-rated antics followed in second place as the horror blockbuster Get Out proved it was a hit that's here to stay with an incredibly low 22% decline on the sophomore frame to an estimated $26.1M. Most fright films would kill to make that much on opening weekend. By comparison, the massive fright hit The Conjuring declined by 47% in its second weekend against the launch of The Wolverine in 2013 on its way to a $137.4M final. Last month's Split dropped 36%.
Universal's racism-themed horror smash has now banked a stellar $76M and is on its way to a phenomenal $140M or more which would easily make it one of the highest-grossing horror movies of all-time. And this too with a modest budget of under $5M.
Get Out is making money the old fashioned way. It's entertaining audiences with something unique and engaging. Reviews and word-of-mouth have been taking the hype to new heights. Many people who just two weeks ago never planned to see the film, are now hearing so much about it and are rushing to see it. All signs point to continued legs ahead.
The faith-based drama The Shack enjoyed a good debut grossing an estimated $16.1M from 2,888 sites for a $5,575 average. Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer head the cast of this PG-13 entry which earned a nice A grade from CinemaScore. Reviews were weak, but did not seem to factor much into the equation.
Family crowds are still choosing The LEGO Batman Movie as their top pick. The Warner Bros. toon dipped 39% to an estimated $11.7M raising the cume to $148.6M after the fourth weekend. The international cume broke the century mark and worldwide now stands at $256.8M with Australia and Japan still to open.
The teen drama Before I Fall opened to pitiful results in fifth place with an estimated $4.9M from 2,346 locations for a weak $2,110 average. The PG-13 film earned mixed reviews for Open Road. John Wick: Chapter Two has been much more liked by critics and grossed an estimated $4.7M, down 50%, for a new total of $82.9M for Lionsgate.
Hidden Figures may have won zero Oscars but audiences still came out. The Fox hit grossed an estimated $3.8M, off only 34%, and spent its ninth weekend in the top ten. Cume is now $158.8M heading to near $170M. Universal's Fifty Shades Darker followed by falling another 55% to an estimated $3.5M for $109.9M to date with global now at $356.1M.
Studio stablemate The Great Wall tumbled 62% as interest is fading fast. The Matt Damon epic banked an estimated $3.5M, domestic sits at only $41.3M, and worldwide climbed to $320.2M. La La Land won six Oscars, but not the biggest one, and saw its weekend take drop 37% to an estimated $3M. It stands with Hidden Figures as the only films to make the top ten during every weekend of 2017. The Lionsgate musical has taken in a sturdy $145.7M from North America and a terrific $395.7M globally.
After winning the biggest Academy Award of them all, following the biggest Oscar snafu of them all, Moonlight nearly tripled its screens to take advantage of the extra heat and saw its weekend gross spike 260% to an estimated $2.5M which was the largest weekend gross ever of its 20-week run. Distributor A24 also reported that the indie sensation shot to number one on VOD and digital sales charts as the older film has been in the home entertainment market now for a couple of weeks. Cume is now $25.4M which happens to be seven times bigger than what Warren Beatty's last film Rules Don't Apply grossed this holiday season.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $162.6M which was up 14% from last year when Zootopia opened at number one with $75.1M; and up a hefty 125% from 2015 when Chappie debuted in the top spot with $13.3M.
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Watch the trailer for King Arthur.
Compared to projections, Logan flew ahead of my $68M forecast and The Shack came in above my $9M prediction. Before I Fall was on target with my $5M projection.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Kong: Skull Island debuts.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: March 5, 2017 at 3:40PM ET
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