What should end up being a very busy March at the box office kicked off with 20th Century Fox’s latest Marvel mutant movie, as Hugh Jackman played Wolverine for the last time in the James Mangold-directed Logan. After grossing $33 million on Friday (including $9.5 million in Thursday previews), the action movie, co-starring Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen and Boyd Holbrook, brought in an estimated $85.3 million over the weekend.
While that wasn’t a March opening record per se, it was the biggest opening in March for an R-rated movie, one of the many differences between Logan and the previous two Wolverine solo outings and all previous X-Men movies. The previous record holder for an R-rated March release was Zack Snyder’s 300 way back in 2006, which opened with $70 million, arguably starting the race for March release space. (Last year, Snyder’s Batman v Superman set a new March opening record.)
More importantly, that estimated opening surpasses the $85.1 million opening of 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, although it still falls short of X2‘s $85.5 million opening in 2009. It’s still pretty good and Logan’s strong “A-” CinemaScore shows it to be well-received among the fans with the same CinemaScore as 2013’s The Wolverine.
On top of that, Logan grossed an amazing $152.5 million from its day-and-date international roll-out into 81 markets, which is Fox’s third-biggest international opening after X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avatar. It was #1 in China with $46.3 million, #1 in the UK with $11.4 million, and #1 in South Korea ($8.2 million), Brazil ($8.2 million) and Russia ($7.1 million)
$10.1 million of that domestic opening gross came from 381 IMAX screens, which ended up being just under half the total global IMAX gross for the weekend. Of the $10.6 million made from IMAX internationally, $4.4 million of that was from China’s 388 IMAX screens.
Normally, horror movies do their biggest business opening weekend and then quickly tail off, but that wasn’t the case at all with Jordan Peele’s Get Out, from Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions. Not only did it hold up well against the blockbuster juggernaut that was Logan, but it held up better than any other horror movie in recent memory, dropping to second place with $26.1 million in its second weekend, down just 22% from its opening. It has grossed $76 million in just ten days and that’s based on a $4.5 million reported production budget. That’s fairly unheard of and is clearly showing the movie to be something that has really connected with moviegoers, even with plenty of other options in theaters.
Opening in third place was Lionsgate’s faith-based drama The Shack, starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer. Based on the 2007 best-selling Christian novel from William P Young, it opened with $16.1 million over the weekend in 2,888 theaters, a decent average of $5,575 per theater. It received an “A” CinemaScore, showing that fans of the book appreciated the movie more than critics.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ The LEGO Batman Movie dropped to fourth place with $11.6 million, bringing its four-week domestic total to $148.6 million, not bad but not nearly as good as its predecessor, The LEGO Movie, did three years ago.
Keanu Reeves’ second outing as the title character of John Wick: Chapter 2 (Lionsgate) took fifth place with an estimated $4.7 million and $82.9 million in its first four weeks. That’s compared to the less than $40 million that the original John Wick made in its first month of release in 2014, which means Lionsgate should probably go ahead with a third chapter (Nothing has been announced as of yet.)
The other book adaptation of the week was Open Road’s Before I Fall, starring Zoey Deutch and directed by Ry Russo-Young, based on Lauren Oliver’s book. That brought in an estimated $4.9 million in 2,346 theaters or $2,089 per theater, which is better than Open Road’s other recent release, Collide, which dropped 87% in its second weekend, making it one of the top three worst second weekend drop-offs ever.
20th Century Fox’s Hidden Figures brought in $3.8 million in its 10th weekend in the Top 10, remaining in seventh place and bringing its total gross to $158.8 million, while Damien Chazelle’s Oscar-winning La La Land (Lionsgate) also remained in the Top 10 with just under $3 million over the weekend and a grand total of $145.7 million.
Universal and Legendary Pictures’ The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, took a tumble in its third weekend, down 62% to take ninth place (down from fourth) with $3.5 million and $41.3 million domestic. Internationally, it’s fared better with $279 million, which includes the huge windfall the movie had in China.
Fox Searchlight’s ensemble wedding comedy Table 19, starring Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Wyatt Russell, Stephen Merchant and more, ended up getting a last-minute wide release on Friday into 868 theaters, but it only took in $1.5 million its opening weekend, or $1,575 per theater.