March 11, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Kong: Skull Island” A Moderate Roar, “Logan” Drops, “Get Out” Holds


KONG: SKULL ISLAND (Legendary/Tencent/Warners) had a $20M opening day according to preliminary numbers at Deadline (that’s at the high end of numbers reported elsewhere earlier in the day), including $3.7M from Thursday night.  Even if that number holds, it’s little more than half the $38.4M opening day for Godzilla 3 years ago.  Godzilla had a 2.4x weekend multiple, and if the same holds for Kong, it might not even reach $50M for the weekend.  Worse yet was Godzilla‘s overall multiple from opening weekend, a lackluster 2.15x, which might translate into a US total for Kong that runs out of steam below $125M–and Kong has to face Beauty & the Beast next weekend.  (Godzilla‘s Week 2 competition was X-Men: Days of Future Past, which had a $90.8M weekend, significantly below what Beauty is projected to do.)  All of this is bad news for a huge production that was given an even more gigantic marketing campaign, with total worldwide costs that might well reach $350M.  The news for Godzilla was better overseas, but not overwhelmingly:  it earned 62% of its global total outside the US, and another extrapolation would give Kong a $350M worldwide total, which would mean big losses once distribution fees and retained grosses are taken into account.  Of course, this is a lot of spitballing based on a single day’s box office, and perhaps Kong will be sturdier than Godzilla.  But those announced plans for Godzilla 2 and Kong vs. Godzilla shouldn’t be taken for granted just yet, as Warners could have another underperforming franchise on its hands.

Perhaps the bigger surprise this weekend is the 67% drop for LOGAN (TSG/20th) from last Friday to $10.8M.  That’s not an unusual decline for a superhero title (Days of Future Past fell 74%, and the two previous standalone Wolverine movies were down 76% and 69%), but with its strong reviews and overperforming opening, Logan was expected to be leggier, even with Kong in the market.  Logan should have a $37M weekend, and now seems like it may end up around $225M in the US, about 40% below Deadpool.

Stability existed at the multiplex, though, in the incredibly steady GET OUT (QC/Blumhouse/Universal), down just 26% from last Friday to $5.9M.  That compares to a 40% drop for the 3rd Friday of Split, and it should mean a $21M weekend, putting it at $111M by Sunday and on track for a $150M US total, one of the highest-grossing, and certainly one of the most profitable, horror movies ever.

THE SHACK (Lionsgate) dropped 52% Friday-to-Friday to $2.6M, a bit worse than the 48% slide for Heaven Is For Real‘s 2d Friday, and much worse than the 20% drop for Miracles From Heaven.  The Shack should have a $9M weekend, and will push for $50M in the US.

BEFORE I FALL (Open Road) held well, but on low numbers, down 44% for the day to under $1M, and still unikely to get much above $15M in the US.  The same was true, but even more so, for TABLE 19 (Fox Searchlight), down 45% from last Friday to less than $300K, and hoping for a $1M weekend and a $5M US total.

Longer runs were still paced by THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (Warners Animation), down 30% to $1.7M for a $7.5M weekend that will put it just below $160M by Sunday, as it waits for family audiences to flock to Beauty & the Beast next week.

Oscar titles were led by HIDDEN FIGURES (20th), down 26% from last Friday to $750K, and likely to hit $170M in the US before it’s done.  The Oscar bounce for MOONLIGHT (A24) was extremely short, as the winner lost roughly 1/3 of its theatres and probably won’t reach $1M for the weekend, now seeming as though its total US theatrical run will be under $30M, making it one of the lowest-grossing winners in history.

PERSONAL SHOPPER (IFC) led limited releases with a $7K per-theatre average on Friday at 4 NY/LA arthouses, but that number was swollen by Kristen Stewart’s in-theatre Q&As in LA, so it may not hold at that level for the reset of the weekend.  The per-theatre for THE SENSE OF AN ENDING (CBS) was $2K in 4.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."