Box office report: Kong: Skull Island clobbers Logan with $61 million

The Warner Bros. latest release from its MonsterVerse franchise, "Kong: Skull Island", won the weekend box office with the entertaining blockbuster taking in an estimated $61 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But "Logan", the restrained "X-Men" installment starring Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, made about $38 million, a decent coup.

Heading into the weekend, Kong was expected to earn $45 million-$50 million.

"Kong: Skull Island" emerged victorious after a battle of the beasts that pitted the giant ape movie against the Wolverine's last stand.

"Skull Island" generated an estimated $61 million in ticket sales over the weekend in USA and Canadian theaters, researcher ComScore Inc. said in a emailed statement Sunday. It cost $185 million to produce, which means that it will need to be a hit overseas if Legendary and Warner Bros, the studios behind the film, want to make a profit.

The film starring Britain's Tom Hiddleston, Oscar victor Brie Larson and the ubiquitous Samuel L Jackson tells the story of a group of explorers on a mysterious island that happens to be Kong's domain. That will likely suck up most of the oxygen in the multiplexes, making it hard for other films to keep drawing in big crowds. Next weekend brings Beauty and the Beast with a $160 million budget, followed by Life with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds and Power Rangers, at a cost of $105 million.

Legendary and Warner Bros. has grand ambitions for King Kong. This is, however, well behind the $93.1 million Godzilla opened with in 2014 before going on to gross $200.7 million domestically. Critics embraced the decision to give an "Apocalypse, Now" sheen to the oft-filmed story of King Kong, with Variety's Owen Gleiberman hailing it as "a rousing and smartly crafted primordial-beastie spectacular". The R-rated movie has earned almost $154 million domestically.

The other two films, Logan and Get Out, continued their successful runs as they finished in second and third position respectfully, with Logan just $6.3 million shy of topping The LEGO Batman Movie as the highest grossing domestic release of 2017 in just ten days. Logan earned just short of $5 million on Thursday night, already burying Kong despite being out for a week. The latest Lego movie has earned $159 million after five weeks.

  • Salvatore Jensen