Kong is king of Hollywood.
The giant ape monster movie opened with a downright decent $61 million estimate at the domestic box office. It wasn’t enough to beat Logan‘s $88.4 million start last week the highest to date in 2017 but it did allow Kong: Skull Island to nab a first place finish over the weekend.
The Warner Bros. action flick is in good shape so far. While its domestic start isn’t enough to account for even half the reported $185 million budget, current estimates outside the U.S. point to an $81.6 million weekend for Kong.
That’s a $142.6 million opening weekend across 65 markets a list that notably does not include China. Kong opens there on March 24, and it’s backed by Tencent Pictures, the young Chinese production company that made a splash in 2016 with Warcraft.
The Duncan Jones-directed video game adaptation failed to land in the U.S. earning only $47.4 million domestically but finished its theatrical run with a global total of $433.7 million. China accounted for $220.8 million of that figure.
Kong lacks the appeal of a tie-in with World of Warcraft which still boasts a sizable audience in China but it’s the second Hollywood blockbuster import for Tencent. The company, which has invested heavily in entertainment produced outside of China, clearly sees something of value here.
Knocked down to #2 for its second week of release is Logan, with an estimated $37.9 million. The Fox-produced X-Men spin-off and supposed last appearance for Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine has drawn rave reviews and a record-setting opening thanks to its unflinching commitment to telling an R-rated superhero story.
After two weeks in theaters, Logan has picked up a total of $152.7 million in the U.S. and another $190.8 million at the foreign box office. It’s a hit. Logan delivered the fourth-highest opening to date for an X-Men movie a universe that now includes Deadpool as well and it’s very likely to crack the top five (out of 10 X-Men movies) for total box office receipts before the end of its theatrical run.
Then there’s Get Out. Once again, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut amounts to one of the most compelling box office stories of the week. Last week, Get Out fell to #2 behind Logan‘s opening but drew praise for its minimal audience decline of 22 percent over its first two weekends.
Now entering week three, there’s a very similar story to tell. Get Out falls to #3, behind Kong and Logan, but it posted a still-impressive domestic estimate of $21.1 million. More notably, that figure represents a 25 percent decline since last week which is uncommonly low for such a recent release.
Audiences are either heading back to theaters for repeat Get Out viewings or word-of-mouth is still doing its job of convincing first-timers to catch it while they can. Both are likely true.
Whatever the cause, Get Out which was budgeted at $4.5 million now stands at $111.1 million domestically at the end of its third weekend. There are shades here of The Blair Witch Project, the buzzy found footage horror from 1999 that turned a $60,000 budget into $140.5 million domestically.
Where Blair Witch successfully leveraged a general fear of the unknown in the less complicated pre-9/11 world, Get Out wins for an issues-driven story that explores embedded racism. Peele, who is known best for his provocative work with Keegan-Michael Key on Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, turned out to be a perfect voice for telling Get Out‘s surprising tale.
All current box office estimates are provided by comScore and all historical data comes from Box Office Mojo.