Final Box Office: 'Logan' Climbs Even Higher to Huge $88.3M U.S. Debut, $247.3M Globally
Elsewhere, 'The Shack' guides faith-based audiences; among Oscar winners, 'Moonlight' shines after its best picture upset and enjoys its biggest weekend to date; and 'La La Land' nears $400 million globally.
Director James Mangold's Logan howled loudly at the North American box office over the weekend with a massive $88.3 million from 4,071 theaters, the biggest opening of the year so far and one of the top showings of all time for an R-rated film or for a March release, according to final numbers.
That's ahead of Sunday's estimate of $85.3 million for the 20th Century Fox superhero movie. (The weekend before, Get Out also exceeded Sunday's estimate by $3 million, or $33.4 million versus $30.5 million.)
Logan was also huge overseas, debuting to $159 million from 81 markets for a launch of $240.8 million. The movie also came in ahead of Sunday's international estimate, which was $152.5 million. Logan scored $48.8 million in China, where it crushed The Lego Batman Movie, which bowed to a meager $3.5 million.
Nostalgia, glowing reviews and an A- CinemaScore are no doubt aiding the movie, which marks Hugh Jackman's final turn on the big screen as the moody and fierce X-Men superhero Wolverine. (That's according to the actor himself.)
And Logan is another victory for Fox in proving that R-rated superhero films can have sharp claws, following the blockbuster success of last year's Deadpool. Logan, the final title in the spinoff Wolverine trilogy, got the widest release ever for an R-rated title in North America.
"Jim [Mangold] and Hugh perfectly executed the movie they wanted to make," said Chris Aronson, domestic distribution president for Fox. "It is a very personal and visceral story for the character, which contemplates mortality."
Before Logan came along, the top domestic opening of 2017 belonged to The Lego Batman Movie ($83 million). Among other stats: Logan scored the fourth-biggest debut for an R-rated film behind Deadpool ($132.4 million), The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8 million) and American Sniper ($89.3 million), not accounting for inflation. It also nabbed the fourth-biggest March debut, behind Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million), The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) and Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million).
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.
The movie skewed heavily male (63 percent), while 68 percent of ticket buyers were over the age of 25. Logan did big business in Imax theaters ($20.6 million globally) and on premium large-format screens ($12.3 million domestically).
Overseas, Logan opened No. 1 in 80 markets and is the third-biggest debut for Fox International behind X-Men: Days of Future Past ($172 million) and Avatar ($164 million). After China, the next biggest market was the U.K. ($11.8 million), followed by Brazil ($8.9 million), South Korea ($8.1 million) and Russia ($7.8 million).
Other highlights over the weekend included the bow of The Shack, a faith-based film starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer. The Lionsgate pic debuted to $16.1 million from 2,888 theaters, the best showing for a Christian-leaning movie since Heaven Is for Real ($22.5 million) almost three years ago. While critics derided the $26 million feature, audiences bestowed The Shack with an A CinemaScore.
"In addition to the cast, the movie is based on the 2007 best-selling novel that is back on all the top lists. The book is incredibly popular," said Lionsgate distribution chief David Spitz.
The Shack, exceeding expectations, placed No. 3 behind Logan and Universal/Blumhouse holdover Get Out, which grossed $26.1 million in its second weekend for an impressive domestic cume of $75.9 million. The race-conscious horror film, directed by Jordan Peele, fell just 26 percent, a scant decline for a horror title.
The frame's third new entry, YA adaptation Before I Fall, opened in sixth place with $4.9 million from 2,346 locations. The micro-budgeted film cost less than $5 million to make, and is the first title from Awesomeness Films. Open Road Films is handling distribution duties.
The Shack gave Lionsgate its third film in the top 10 along with holdovers John Wick: Chapter 2 and La La Land. The latter movie scored a number of top Oscars last weekend, despite ultimately losing out in the best picture race in a surprise upset and following the biggest blunder in Academy Award history that saw it mistakenly named the winner before Moonlight was declared the true victor.
La La Land placed No. 10 in its 13th weekend with $3 million from 1,411 theaters for a domestic total of $145 million. Overseas, helmer Damien Chazelle's musical danced past the $250 million mark for a global tally of $395 million.
Director Barry Jenkins' Moonlight enjoyed a big post-Oscar boost in theaters, even though it is already available on home entertainment. From A24, the art house movie earned $2.3 million — its biggest weekend to date — for a domestic total of $25.2 million. The drama is playing in 1,564 theaters, its widest footprint since opening in select theaters in late October.
A24 says Moonlight has also climbed to the top of the charts on various VOD platforms. That includes iTunes, where it ranks No. 4. And theatrically, the film is on the verge of becoming the widely respected distributor's top-grossing title to date (as of now, it is tied with Ex Machina).
March 6, 7:20 a.m. Updated with final numbers for Logan.
March 6, 11:30 a.m. Updated with final international numbers for Logan.