Box Office Wrap Up: Kong is King of Box Office.
It just goes to show, don’t bring a Wolverine to a gorilla fight.
All of the studios who avoided last weekend, making Kong: Skull Island the only wide release must have had a good read on the movie’s prospects. Despite having somewhat lukewarm critical numbers (it was a winner on Rotten Tomatoes, but just average on Metacritic or IMDB) Kong was able to unseat old man Logan this weekend and rack up some big bucks.
Box Office History.
This was a healthy week for the March box office, though not an astounding one. Kong helped usher in a weekend that was slightly better than last year, but it was also slightly down from last week’s numbers. Logan, despite being pushed into the second spot, was dynamite in its opening weekend.
Kong was no slouch, though, earning 61 million dollars. That is the biggest debut for the ruler of the apes, though he’s mostly competing against films that released in the 80’s, 70’s, and even the 1930’s. Going toe for toe against Peter Jackson’s interpretation in 2005, Kong: Skull Island has won the first round, 61 to 50 for an opening weekend. Jackson’s Kong, however, went on to a strong run of 218 million dollars domestically, and an even bigger run internationally with 332 million dollars. Skull Island is going to have to stay strong to match those earnings.
Kong is the second piece in the Universal puzzle that hopes to have giant monsters make big bucks every other year. 2014’s Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards, set the table, and after a Godzilla sequel next year, we are due to see Kong and Zilla throw down in a monster mash. With that being said, how did Kong do compared to 2014’s Godzilla?
Godzilla wins the opening round easily. It grossed 91 million to Kong’s 61. From there, it’s a murky story. Godzilla did not age well, dropping 66% in its second week, and it went on to make a slightly disappointing 200 million domestically. Its oversea take was stronger, at 328 million, but it still under performed Peter Jackson’s Kong in the long run. Skull Island is going to have to have some longevity to beat both 2014’s Godzilla and 2005’s King Kong.
We know the monkey took first place. Second place went to Logan, which had a weekend that must have upset Fox studios. It dropped 57% in its second weekend, which is definitely on the high side for a big blockbuster. It did aggressively court early viewers and front load with IMAX, but such a large drop on the second weekend is worrying for its long term totals.
Third Place went to Get Out, which seems to have come up with a disciplined release strategy. Relying on strong reviews and word of mouth, the film has aggressively added new locations each week, making it so that its week-to-week totals have seen very small drops. It is an interesting juxtaposition to Logan, which was showing everywhere and early, and which dropped precipitously, while Get Out release in a modest amount of theaters and has steadily added more.
There is very little change for the bottom seven. The biggest surprise is the faith-based inspirational film, The Shack, which came in at fourth place. The film had a very modest drop in the mid 30% range, and it has made a strong first couple of weeks. Its critical ratings are abysmal, so kudos to Summit Entertainment for smartly courting their audience and doing the leg work to find this film a home.