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Hugh Jackman’s Logan grossed a muscular $33 million at the Friday box office, putting the final Wolverine movie on course to earn $80 million from 4,071 theaters for the weekend, one of the best starts of all time for an R-rated release and one of the top March openings ever.
Logan, following upon the success of last year’s daring Deadpool, is another victory for 20th Century Fox in proving that R-rated superhero films can have sharp claws. To boot, it is getting the widest release ever for an R-rated title.
The movie, directed by James Mangold, earned stellar reviews after premiering last month at the Berlin International Film Festival and sports a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes — the best of Jackman’s career. Audience opinions are also glowing, having bestowed the pic with an A- CinemaScore.
Logan is opening simultaneously in numerous foreign markets this weekend, including China, and could post an international bow in the $75 million-$100 million range.
This time out, 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. Jackman has said it will be the final installment in the Wolverine series.
Also opening nationwide this weekend are Lionsgate’s faith-based The Shack, starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer, and YA film adaptation Before I Fall, the first title from Awesomeness Films.
The Shack, based on the best-selling novel of the same name about a father’s transformative spiritual journey, is exceeding expectations despite withering reviews and could post the best showing for a faith-based movie in several years. The film, coming on the heels of Spencer’s Oscar nomination for box-office hit Hidden Figures, grossed $5.6 million Friday from 2,888 theaters for a projected $15 million-$16 million weekend.
Audiences liked it far better than critics, awarding the film an A CinemaScore. The Shack is tipped to place No. 3 behind Logan and holdover Get Out.
Universal and Blumhouse’s Get Out, a race-conscious horror film marking the feature directorial debut of Jordan Peele, is looking to earn $24.7 million from 2,938 theaters in its second weekend, a drop of just 26 percent. (More bullish box-office observers show it earning $28 million, a decline of 16 percent.)
Before I Fall, distributed by Open Road Films, isn’t likely to make the top five in its debut. The micro-budgeted movie, which cost less than $5 million to make, grossed an estimated $1.6 million from 2,346 locations on Friday for a projected $4.5 million-$5 million debut.
Elsewhere, Oscar best picture winner Moonlight, which is heading back into 1,500 theaters following its victory over La La Land, is on course to earn roughly $1.5 million this weekend, putting its domestic total at $25 million. Since Moonlight, from A24, is already available on VOD and on DVD, its post-Oscar theatrical prospects are limited.
Moonlight was declared the victor at last weekend’s Oscar ceremony after La La Land was first named best picture in the biggest blunder in Academy Awards history.
March 3, 12:30 p.m. Updated with revised weekend projections.
March 4, 7:15 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers and revised weekend projections.
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