‘Kong’ Crowned King Of Weekend Box Office

By March 12, 2017

Moviegoers flocked to see the latest Warner Bros. mega-monster re-invention: Kong: Skull Island. But the excitement wasn’t the same as previous installments.

Kong – which starred Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman – earned $61 million at the box office, according to early estimates supplied by The Numbers. That was enough to knock Logan out of the top spot after just one week, and rule the box office.

Compared to other super monsters, however, Kong isn’t comparing well.

Godzilla, for example, earned $93.2 million on its opening weekend in May 2014, although it did beat the opening weekend of Peter Jackson’s 2005 attempt at the franchise, King Kong, which pulled in $50.1 million. However, when adjusted for inflation, Jackson actually bested director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, as King Kong moves above $63 million.

Like some of the more recent box office successes, Kong got solid reviews from critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes, although its 78 percent rating was a bit below that of predecessors Logan (92 percent) and Get Out (99 percent). Speaking of those two films, Logan fell to No. 2 with $37.9 million – a steep 57 percent drop from the week before – while Get Out holds on with a No. 3 ranking $21.1 million.

Despite the box office crash of Logan, it’s still expected to surpass The Lego Batman Movie in total box office receipts for the year this week, already at $152.7 million in just 10 days. Get Out, the horror film from comedian Jordan Peele, also crossed the $100 million mark this weekend, earning $111.1 million in 17 days.

The Kong opening did best Zootopia‘s weekend a year ago of $51.3 million in its second week. In fact, the top five films this weekend earned $137.7 million, compared to $102.5 million last year – a jump of 34 percent. In fact, the solid box office for the last three weekends has closed the gap on revenue trends at theaters, with the top five films now earning an average of $101.1 million, compared to $107.4 million to this point last year.

Kong has helped Warner Bros. improve its 2017 so far, just a million dollars or so off the top three with $275.2 million (compared to $276.9 million from Lionsgate). Universal Pictures remains at the top, however, with $567.7 million, or $81.1 million per film, compared to just $30.6 million from Warner Bros.

Next week might give the box office its fourth new winner in a row when Disney opens the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, which is expected to dominate the box office. The animated film opened to just $9.6 million in 1991, or $17.4 million today. But it went on to gross a staggering $451.4 million globally through its run – the equivalent of $814.6 million today.

So the live-action Beauty will have its work cut out for it. Especially when it comes to other recent live-action openings – The Jungle Book opened to $103.3 million in April 2016, while Cinderella managed $69.7 million in 2015.

Beauty is getting mixed reviews so far, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Of the 63 critics surveyed by Sunday, only 68 percent have lived it so far. The Jungle Book, by comparison, impressed 95 percent of the critics surveyed by the site.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.
  • John Ikarus

    When will we see King Kong vs Godzilla?
    Make it happen!

  • Run 2

    Thanks for sharing.