‘Lo­gan’ slices box of­fice with $85.3M; ‘Moon­light’ gets bump

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN 360 LIFE - By Jake Coyle

The R-rated “X-Men” spinoff “Lo­gan” slashed into the week­end box of­fice, open­ing with a mas­sive $85.3 mil­lion in North Amer­i­can the­aters, ac­cord­ing to stu­dio es­ti­mates Sun­day, while best-picture win­ner “Moon­light” got a sig­nif­i­cant, if far from su­per­hero-sized, Os­car bump.

The de­but of 20th Cen­tury Fox’s “Lo­gan,” star­ring Hugh Jack­man as Wolver­ine, ranks among the big­gest March open­ings ever and top R-rated de­buts. Like last year’s R-rated “Dead­pool” (also a Fox re­lease), the bet­ter-than-ex­pected open­ing for “Lo­gan” — a darkly vi­o­lent, grit­tily dra­matic movie ap­plauded by crit­ics — fur­ther proves movie­go­ers’ hunger for less con­ven­tional comic book films.

“‘Dead­pool’ was to comedy what ‘Lo­gan’ is to drama. The only com­mon theme is that they’re quo­te­un­quote ‘comic-book movies’ and they’re rated R,” said Fox dis­tri­bu­tion chief Chris Aron­son, who cred­ited di­rec­tor and co-writer James Man­gold and Jack­man for ex­e­cut­ing their per­sonal vision for the film.

Jack­man has said it will be his fi­nal per­for­mance as Wolver­ine, whose claws he has worn for 17 years. “Lo­gan,” made for about $100 mil­lion, also sold $152.5 mil­lion in tick­ets over­seas.

“On a global scale, we’ve ex­ceeded all pre-re­lease ex­pec­ta­tions,” Aron­son said.

Last week’s No. 1 film, Jor­dan Peele’s hor­ror sen­sa­tion “Get Out” slid just 22 per­cent — a small drop for any movie but par­tic­u­larly in the hor­ror genre. The ac­claimed Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures re­lease, made for $5 mil­lion by Blum­house Pro­duc­tions, dropped to sec­ond place but still grossed $26.1 mil­lion. Its 10-day to­tal is $75 mil­lion.

The Os­car best-picture win­ner “Moon­light” had its widest re­lease yet, ap­pear­ing on 1,564 screens. It turned in its big­gest week­end, too, with an es­ti­mated $2.5 mil­lion. That ac­counts for roughly 10 per­cent of the movie’s to­tal do­mes­tic haul of $25.3 mil­lion.

“Moon­light,” made for just $1.5 mil­lion, is also out on DVD and on­de­mand. In­die dis­trib­u­tor A24 said it will be its high­est-gross­ing re­lease in its five-year ex­is­tence. “Moon­light” also ranks fourth on iTunes.

“That’s a true Os­car halo ef­fect in full view,” said Paul Der­garabe­dian, se­nior me­dia an­a­lyst for comS­core. “Usu­ally the big­gest bounce comes from the nom­i­na­tions. But this film hadn’t made a ton of money. A24 smartly ex­panded into more the­aters, and it re­ally worked for them.”

Barry Jenk­ins’ drama is nev­er­the­less one of the least widely seen best-picture win­ners. Only Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” ($17 mil­lion) earned less at the do­mes­tic box of­fice.

Though it mem­o­rably did not win best picture, Lion­s­gate’s “La La Land” — win­ner of six Acad­emy Awards — is clos­ing in on $400 mil­lion glob­ally af­ter adding an­other $11 mil­lion in­ter­na­tion­ally and $3 mil­lion do­mes­ti­cally.

Lion­s­gate’s “The Shack” also opened in North Amer­i­can the­aters over the week­end and came in third with $16.1 mil­lion. The Chris­tian tale, star­ring Sam Wor­thing­ton and Oc­tavia Spencer, was slammed by crit­ics, but it at­tracted one of the largest faith-based au­di­ences in re­cent years.

Es­ti­mated ticket sales for Fri­day through Sun­day at U.S. and Cana­dian the­aters, ac­cord­ing to comS­core.

BEN ROTHSTEIN/TWENTIETH CEN­TURY FOX

Hugh Jack­man stars in “Lo­gan,” which opened with a mas­sive $85.3 mil­lion in North Amer­i­can the­aters.

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