A powerful roar echoed across the world this weekend as Kong: Skull Island smashed its way into theatres in 66 countries with a $141 million global release. Universal, Legendary and Tencent Pictures’ giant monster thriller found the right mix of action, suspense and old school Hollywood kicks to entice audiences across the globe. Kong stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. In the closing days of the Vietnam War, Bill Randa (John Goodman) leads a surveying team to Skull Island with the stated purpose of mapping the still uncharted territory. His real aim, however, is to gather proof that monsters exist and that they may one day threaten humanity. Jordan Vogt-Roberts directs in his studio picture debut, having won the job on the strength of his 2013 Sundance darling Kings of Summer. Domestic plays were worth $61 million dollars, already putting it ahead of Peter Jackson’s 2015 King Kong, which went on to gross $221 million at home. Overseas Skull Island made $81.6 million in 65 countries. Its biggest play so far is the UK at $7.6 million, followed closely by Korea at $7.3 million. Russia turned in $6 million while Mexican showings were good for $5.6 million. Kong made $4 million in France, and $3.6 million in Taiwan. Australia opened slow with $3.5 million but several upcoming national holidays should boost that number this week. Skull Island is estimated to have cost $185 million before Print and Advertising. An A- Cinemascore and generally positive reviews should see it stand on solid legs in the coming weeks, although Logan, its closest competitor, is standing pretty well itself. More importantly, next week will see the launch of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which many are predicting could dominate the global charts for several weeks.
Speaking of Logan, Fox’s bloody goodbye to long running hero Wolverine capped off its second week in theatres with a $37.8 million domestic take. It dropped 57% after its record breaking $88.4 million debut and reached a domestic cumulative of $152.6 million. Logan has already passed up the $132 million domestic lifetime gross posted by The Wolverine in 2013, and should catch up to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine within two to three weeks. It stayed strong overseas as well, taking $70.3 million from 79 markets. Logan has now passed $90 million in China. In Brazil it held on to the top spot and fell just 29% off of its opening for a $5.6 million return frame. UK sales reached $21.1 million, while Russia made it to $13.9 million and Australia and Korea turned in $13.3 and $13.2 million a piece. Logan’s global cume is now $437 million.
The ideal of a East-West super-hit has been the dream of Hollywood and Beijing studios for the last half decade and all manner of over the top multi-hundred million dollar budgeted features have tried to reach this zenith of movie business success. Now though it seems that a much cuddlier, reasonably sized feature may be doing just that. A Dog’s Purpose is a basic, fundamental story about the bond between a dog and his master. It’s set entirely in the Midwest and doesn’t feature a single Chinese actor, in a starring role or otherwise. It closed its second frame in the Middle Kingdom with $22.4 million, surpassing its $17.1 million opening last week, a number that was already inching towards the benchmark of its $18.3 million domestic debut. A Dog’s Purpose has earned $51 million in China and $61 million in the U.S., where it had a six-week head start. It’s global total now stands at $140 million, and all of this comes off of a $20 million budget. It may not be on a Star Wars or Transformers scale but the multiples are there and its cross-cultural appeal is undeniable.
In other news Blumhouse’s not so surprise hit Get Out passed $100 million global, La La Land reached $400 million, and Golden Globe and Oscar winner Moonlight just passed $27 million in the U.S.
Among next week’s new releases, we have Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast, British cult hit sequel T2 Trainspotting and Terrence Malick’s Song to Song, starring Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender and Cate Blanchett.
See the latest box office numbers: