The calendar says it’s March, but the box office has been looking an awful lot like summer. Following last weekend’s smash opening for Logan – the reported last film to feature Hugh Jackman in venerable Wolverine mode – this weekend saw the opening of Kong: Skull Island. While Kong didn’t quite catch on with critics the way Logan did one week ago, the new iteration in the classic ape saga netted an estimated $61 million in ticket sales at the North American box office. That exceeded expectations – most prognosticators and industry analysts speculated the film would open in the $50 million range.
Warner Bros. released Kong: Skull Island – which stars Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Rielly and Oscar winner Brie Larson – with the intention of launching a new mega-monster cinematic universe. And while the film failed to earn as much as cousin film Godzilla – which opened to $93 million in May of 2014 – it’s not bad either. Kong did better overseas as so far the film has made an estimated $142 million worldwide. WB is extending the brand further with the upcoming Godzilla: King of Monsters (which will star Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Stranger Things breakout Millie Bobby Brown) and a planned mash-up Godzilla vs. Kong.
Coming in second to Kong: Skull Island was last week’s champ Logan, which has earned $152 million in two weeks of release. The X-Men entry is now $7 million short from becoming the highest grossing film of 2017 – The LEGO Batman Movie ($159 million) holds that distinction for now. In third place is Jordan Peele’s horror/social commentary breakout Get Out, a sleeper hit that has amassed $111 million in three weeks of release; the film already the second highest grosser in the history of Blumhouse Productions with lots more to gain in the coming weeks. For a deeper sense of Get Out‘s sleeper hit status, the film cost only $4.5 million to produce.
The box office should continue to fire up next week as Disney releases the eagerly anticipated live-action reboot of Beauty and the Beast.