Box-Office Preview: 'Logan' to Sink Claws Into $65M-Plus U.S. Debut

Octavia Spencer and Sam Worthington's faith-based 'The Shack' also opens nationwide, while best picture Oscar winner 'Moonlight' returns to theaters even though it is available on home entertainment.

Expect Logan to end the stand-alone Wolverine series in style, as well as mark a superhero start to the March box office.

The 20th Century Fox movie, returning Hugh Jackman in the title role, is projected to gross $65 million or more in North America this weekend, and as much as $100 million overseas, where it is opening in numerous markets, including China.

Logan is the first Wolverine movie to be rated R and is getting the widest release in history for an R-rated title domestically, where it will play in 4,071 theaters. (Fox is the same studio behind the blockbuster R-rated Deadpool.)

Directed by James Mangold, Logan is the third Wolverine movie and the tenth title in the X-Men franchise. The story follows the adventure that ensues when Logan, who is caring for an ailing Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), encounters a mysterious young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) in need of their help.

Logan, a critical darling, made its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February and currently boasts a 93 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Also opening nationwide on Friday is Lionsgate's The Shack, a faith-based movie based on the best-selling novel of the same name about a father's transformative spiritual journey. The film, starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer, who is fresh off her Oscar nomination for Hidden Figures, will play in roughly 2,800 theaters and is projected to gross $10 million to $12 million, but there's room for upside.

Another Oscar movie, Moonlight, will aggressively up its theater count this weekend after winning the Academy Award for best picture in a surprise upset (and after La La Land was first declared the winner in the biggest blunder in Oscar history).

Moonlight, from A24, will be playing in some 1,500 theaters, even though it is widely available on home entertainment. The drama, directed by Barry Jenkins, has earned $22.6 million to date domestically, making it the lowest-grossing best picture Oscar winner in history behind The Hurt Locker. At the same time, $22.6 million is a strong showing for an art house film.

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