‘Kong’ con­quers ‘Lo­gan’ at the box of­fice

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN 360 LIFE - By Tre’vell An­der­son Los An­ge­les Times

In the box of­fice war among beasts, Wolver­ine was no match for the re­turn of King Kong.

“Kong: Skull Is­land,” from Warner Bros. and Leg­endary Pic­tures, pulled in an es­ti­mated $61 mil­lion in the U.S. and Canada, per­form­ing well above ex­pec­ta­tions of $45 mil­lion to $50 mil­lion. It also brought in a mas­sive $81.6 mil­lion in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“We’re thrilled, happy and re­ally ex­cited by this tremen­dous re­sult,” said Jeff Gold­stein, Warner Bros.’ dis­tri­bu­tion chief.

About ex­plor­ers who land on an un­charted is­land that turns out to be Kong’s do­main, “Skull Is­land” is a re­boot of the 84-yearold piece of Hol­ly­wood his­tory known all too well by au­di­ences. It comes a decade af­ter Peter Jack­son brought “King Kong” back to the big screen.

The pop­corn flick has been re­ceived well by crit­ics and au­di­ences alike. With a B-plus Cine­maS­core from movie­go­ers (56 per­cent male; 35 per­cent younger than age 25), it holds a 78 per­cent pos­i­tive rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes.

The new movie, which was di­rected by Jor­dan Vogt-Roberts and stars Tom Hid­dle­ston, Sa­muel L. Jack­son and Brie Lar­son, is the sec­ond in­stall­ment in the stu­dios’ planned series of mon­ster films that started with Gareth Ed­wards’ “Godzilla” in 2014.

Al­though “Skull Is­land” didn’t come close to “Godzilla’s” $93 mil­lion de­but three years ago, it does still have the po­ten­tial to match the lat­ter film’s fi­nal gross of $200 mil­lion in the U.S. and Canada, plus $328 mil­lion from other coun­tries. The new pic­ture did best the $50 mil­lion open­ing of Jack­son’s “King Kong” from 2005. That pic­ture went on to nab $218 mil­lion do­mes­ti­cally and $332 mil­lion in­ter­na­tion­ally.

WB and Leg­endary are hop­ing au­di­ences around the globe will carry the $185 mil­lion “Skull Is­land.” Its $81.6 mil­lion international take, from 65 coun­tries, is a good sign.

“Skull Is­land” will con­tinue to ben­e­fit in the com­ing weeks, Gold­stein said, from stu­dents on spring break, a de­mo­graphic that gave the film an A Cine­maS­core.

In sec­ond place was 20th Cen­tury Fox’s “Lo­gan.” Af­ter a bet­ter-than-ex­pected $88 mil­lion de­but last week­end, Hugh Jack­man’s fi­nal out­ing as the clawwield­ing X-Men mu­tant took in $37.9 mil­lion, cross­ing the $150 mil­lion mark do­mes­ti­cally.

In third was Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures and Blum­house Pro­duc­tions’ so­cially con­scious thriller “Get Out,” which pulled in $21.1 mil­lion in its third week. The pic­ture writ­ten and di­rected by Jor­dan Peele has taken in $111.1 mil­lion.

Lionsgate’s “The Shack” took fourth place in its sec­ond week with $10.1 mil­lion. Its do­mes­tic gross is $32.3 mil­lion.

Round­ing out the top five was WB’s “The Lego Bat­man Movie.” The an­i­mated pic­ture added an ad­di­tional $7.8 mil­lion in its fifth week.

In lim­ited re­lease, IFC Film’s “Per­sonal Shop­per” opened in four the­aters to $92,516. The pic­ture, which re­volves around a ghost story in the fash­ion un­der­world of Paris, stars Kris­ten Ste­wart and was writ­ten and di­rected by Olivier As­sayas.

CBS Films’ “The Sense of End­ing” also opened in four spots. Di­rected by Ritesh Ba­tra and star­ring Jim Broad­bent, Har­riet Walter and Michelle Dock­ery, it earned $42,000. Fo­cus World’s “Raw” opened in two lo­ca­tions at $25,230.

This week, the much-an­tic­i­pated “Beauty and the Beast” live-ac­tion film from Dis­ney fi­nally de­buts. It will face BH Tilt’s thriller “The Belko Ex­per­i­ment.”

CON­TRIB­UTED BY WARNER BROS. PIC­TURES

“Kong: Skull Is­land” pulled in an es­ti­mated $61 mil­lion in the U.S. and Canada this week­end.

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