Fox’s Logan tore into the domestic and international markets, taking $85.3 million at home and $152.5 million abroad for a magnificent $237.8 million global debut. It set many records along the way, including a career high opening for director James Mangold who returned to the franchise after taking the lead on 2013’s The Wolverine. This year’s entry marks the ninth and final appearance of Hugh Jackman as a tortured adamantium clawed hero and brings a close to a 17 year run for his interpretation of one of the world’s most followed comic book characters. Logan is Fox’s second R-Rated superhero film after last year’s surprise superhit Deadpool. It’s already clawed its way to the fifth biggest U.S. opening ever for an R movie and the biggest ever for an adult rated title in March. It finished first in 80 of its 81 overseas openings as well, capped off by a massive $48.9 million launch in China. It made $11.4 million in the UK and $8.2 million in both Korea and Brazil, where it was Fox’s biggest opening of all time. Logan kicked things off well in Russia also with a $7.1 million opening. Consistently good reviews and an A- cinemascore will certainly keep this movie standing on strong legs in the coming weeks, even in the face of upcoming competition from Kong: Skull Island and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Back to the Chinese box office, two other major Hollywood pictures shared drastically different fates in their Middle Kingdom debuts. Amblin Entertainment and Universal’s A Dog’s Purpose sniffed out a tidy $17.1 million, nearly matching its $18.2 million U.S. debut at the end of January. Dog’s international gross now reached $41.3 million with a $60.1 million domestic haul taking the global cume to $101.4 million. Lego Batman, however, had a much harder time crossing the Pacific. Much of the film’s appeal comes from nostalgia for the Danish building blocks that many Western moviegoers grew up with, whereas Lego has yet to open a major store or even a factory in China. This lack of brand awareness led to it building a subdued $3.7 million foundation, putting it close to the picture’s opening figures in Mexico ($2.5 million) than the double digit opening millions that are expected in a AAA Middle Kingdom debut.
Back to the U.S., Get Out was number two with $26.1 million and a domestic total of $76 million. Lionsgate’s Christian themed newcomer The Shack started in third with a $16.1 million weekend landing. Shack is based on a 2007 Canadian novel of the same name by William P. Young and stars Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer and Tim McGraw. It’s about a couple who go deep into the woods to meet God at an abandoned cabin and regain faith in the world after their youngest daughter is slain by a serial killer.
Fellow opener Before I Fall, which follows a more lighthearted childhood in the reckless coming of age of two high school senior girls trapped in a Groundhog Day style loop that can only be broken by finding true love, opened in the U.S. to $4.98 million. 73% of the audience was female and 65% of viewers were under 25.
In holdover news, Moonlight rode its Oscar win to a further $2.5 million after a push into $1,594 theatres, the latest in its now long series of national expansions and contractions. Its domestic cume is now $25.3 million. Almost winner La La Land added $3 million, for a domestic total of $145 million. By adding overseas numbers, the Lionsgate musical is now close to the $ 400 million mark.
Next weekend we’ll see if Logan can stand up to Kong: Skull Island, and if there will be any space in the market for newcomers Raw and Personal Shopper.
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