When Logan debuted last week it handily won its opening weekend, banking an impressive $88 million at the box office. This wasn’t too unexpected given the great interest surrounding Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine and the strong reviews it earned. Heading in to its second weekend, Logan is sure to continue pulling in the crowds, but its chances of holding on to the top spot are dwindling.
Blockbuster season starts earlier and earlier every year, and even in March we’re already starting to see major tent-pole battles. Just a week on from Logan we have Kong: Skull Island vying for a piece of the box office pie. The film’s weekend projections put the picture on for a $54 million opening weekend and based on early weekend numbers (including $3.3 million on Thursday) it’s well on the way to hitting that.
Skull Island was number one at the box office on Friday (via Variety), pulling in $20.2 million. If those numbers hold, Kong will win the weekend and Logan will move down to the second spot, raking in a still respectable $36 million.
This chimes with the generally accepted box office predictions, with Kong‘s popular ensemble – which includes big box office draws like Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston – and generally positive reviews being what pushes it over the top. Skull Island is also a film that many will choose to see in more premiere formats, like IMAX, adding to the film’s gross; it’s the sort of event movie that befits the bigger screen. IMAX screenings come with a teaser for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, providing a bit of added content.
It’s a tight race, though, and as the numbers for Saturday and Sunday come in, Logan may still squeak ahead. However, it’s likely that a large portion of the audience who came out for Logan last weekend will be just as interested in checking out Kong this weekend, so Skull Island really has all the advantages.
That’s promising news for Legendary Picture’s MonsterVerse – a shared universe which will soon see Godzilla, Kong, and other well-known kaiju (a Japanese term meaning “strange beast”) doing battle in forthcoming pictures. After the success of 2014’s Godzilla, it fell to Skull Island to make a case for the MonsterVerse as well as set up how all these kaiju will all soon share the screen. Judging by how well it’s performing this weekend, Skull Island has done its job, leaving audiences in anticipation for the MonsterVerse’s next efforts – 2019’s Godzilla: King of Monsters and 2020’s Godzilla VS Kong.