Weekend Box Office (March 10 - 12, 2017)
THIS WEEKEND Warner Bros. enjoyed a strong debut for its monster reboot Kong: Skull Island which soared to an estimated $61M from 3,846 locations for a muscular $15,865 average. While not among the top ten March openings of all-time, the PG-13 film did drive in more business than expected and more importantly gave the studio and Legendary successful "reinventions" for both Godzilla and King Kong properties. The monster epic Godzilla vs Kong is slated for release in summer 2020 following a Godzilla sequel in 2019. The strategy is not unlike what Marvel has made with the cinematic universe for its well-known characters.
Skull Island played 56% male, according to studio data, while 65% were over 25. Reviews were generally good and audiences gave a decent B+ CinemaScore grade. Legs going forward should be average for this type of big-budget action tentpole. The production budget is estimated at $185M with aims of a global audience powering it to box office heights.
Kong roared overseas in its debut grossing a superb $81.6M for a global launch of $142.6M. Many markets opened bigger than Godzilla and leading the way were the U.K. with $7.6M and Korea with $7.3M. China and Japan will open the film two weeks from now. A final global box office close to the $529M of Godzilla is possible.
Bumped out of the top spot in its second weekend was the comic book hit Logan which fell 57% to an estimated $37.9M. Given the strong reviews and word-of-mouth, some expected a smaller drop. However, Kong did take away a sizable part of the action audience this weekend plus Logan's decline still was less than sophomore drops for recent outings for his Wolverine character. 2013's The Wolverine fell 60% while 2014's well-reviewed X-Men: Days of Future Past tumbled 64% after coming off of a holiday launch. Logan stands tall at $152.7M and may end in the $240M range. International markets are rocking with another $70.3M this weekend boosting the overseas tally to $285.6M and global to $438.3M. Reaching $700M is a possibility.
Jordan Peele's runaway blockbuster Get Out is quickly becoming one of the highest grossing horror films of all-time. The low-budget Universal release declined by an incredibly low 25% in its third weekend as stellar word-of-mouth keeps broadening the audience. This weekend saw an estimated $21.1M in grosses allowing the cume to bust through the $100M mark and reach $111.1M which is more than any Paranormal Activity or Saw film ever made. The road ahead for Get Out should lead to a final of more than $160M domestic on a production cost of only $5M.
The faith-based film The Shack enjoyed a good hold in its second weekend sliding 38% to an estimated $10.1M giving Lionsgate $32.3M to date. A final of $55-60M may result. The LEGO Batman Movie keeps bringing in kids slipping only 33% to an estimated $7.8M in its fifth weekend. With $159M so far from North America, global now sits at $275.5M with Australia and Japan remaining.
The teen flop Before I Fall fell 34% to an estimated $3.1M in its second frame putting the cume at a mere $9M for Open Road. The rest of the top ten was filled with winners, though. Hidden Figures slipped only 28% to an estimated $2.8M and $162.9M to date for Fox. Keanu Reeves saw his action sequel John Wick: Chapter Two bank an estimated $2.7M, off 44%, for a new sum of $87.4M for Lionsgate.
The Oscar shine is fading for La La Land which dropped 41% to an estimated $1.8M putting Lionsgate at $148.4M. Universal's erotic drama Fifty Shades Darker followed with an estimated $1.6M, down 54%, for $112.9M to date which is 30% behind the pace of its 2015 predecessor. Global totals stand at $416.8M and $368.8M, respectively.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $149.8M which was up 27% from last year when Zootopia stayed at number one with $51.3M; and up 30% from 2015 when Cinderella debuted in the top spot with $67.9M.
Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.
Watch the NEW trailer for The Fate of the Furious.
Compared to projections, Kong: Skull Island opened ahead of my $41M forecast.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Beauty and the Beast opens.
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 12, 2017 at 1:50PM ET
©1997 - 2017 Box Office Guru