Can Kong Crush the Claw? Or Will Logan Tame the Hairy Ape? This Coming Weekend at the Boxoffice

By Jim Amos | March 5, 2017 11:58 pm PST
My Scientology Movie, Kong Skull Island, Badrinath ki Dulhania

Heading into last week, Celluloid Junkie was the highest site on the board, predicting a take of USD $78 million for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine finale, “Logan”. Well, as it turns out CJ was the closest of anyone (most pundits had the film opening in the USD $55-65 million range) and still underestimated the power of the claw as “Logan” proved to be both a critical and financial smash, pulling in a whopping USD $85 million on the domestic front and another USD $152 million internationally. It was the franchise’s highest debut and one of the best for the entire “X-Men” conglomerate.

But it wasn’t only good news for the fine folks at Fox this weekend as Lionsgate’s faith-based “The Shack” inspired moviegoers to the tune of USD $16 million, outperforming expectations of most prognosticators not officially associated with a Christian megachurch. That tally was the best opening for a Christian film since 2014’s “Heaven is for Real”.

Sadly (but not unexpectedly) Open Road’s “Before I Fall” stumbled coming out of the starting gate and opened to the USD $4 million-and-change level that CJ projected last Monday.

On to this coming weekend

“Kong: Skull Island” (WB)—A bit more “Jurassic Park” than “King Kong”, this particular Kong vehicle comes twelve years after 2005’s “King Kong” remake with Jack Black that opened to USD $50 million and ended up at a nifty USD $218 million. Figuring the time wasn’t right for an outright remake, Warners has enlisted Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, along with Samuel L Jackson, who is in every film this year, in what could best be described as an “offshoot”.

The film is sporting a rather impressive 83 RT score and it has the weekend entirely to itself, which is indeed an anomaly. I guess most distribution heads opted to stay away from their second week going up against Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, which is going to mint money for theatres next week. Well, unless you have a drive-in in Alabama or any theatre in Russia, but we digress.

The Verdict: Though it’s PG-13 versus the R rated “Logan”, “Kong: Skull island” feels like its looking to draw from a similar audience. Some in the industry have this at opening upwards of USD $50 million but we remain a bit more conservative so put us down for USD $48 million.

ALSO OPENING —“My Scientology Movie” from Louis Theroux opens this week (we erroneously had it opening last week-our bad) along with Focus World’s horror title “Raw” and the Bollywood offering from Fox International, “Badrinath Ki Dulhania”. And yes, my spellcheck did just explode typing that title.

Jim Amos
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