LOS ANGELES: It was a battle of the beasts at the box office this weekend, and King Kong emerged as the definitive victor over Wolverine. According to studio estimates Sunday, “Kong: Skull Island” amassed $61 million in its first weekend in theaters, surpassing expectations and easily beating out “Logan,” which is now in its second weekend. Warner Bros. and Legendary’s “Kong: Skull Island” stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. It’s the second in the planned “monster universe” following the latest “Godzilla,” which grossed $529.1 million worldwide in 2014.
Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros’ head of domestic distribution, said the weekend “far exceeded everyone’s expectations,” and he predicts Monday actuals might come in higher than the estimated $61 million. The film, which earned a B CinemaScore overall, was graded stronger by younger audiences, many of whom will have extra days off soon for spring break. “The world of mouth is really kicking in,” Goldstein said. Costing a reported $185 million to produce, “Kong” still has work to be done, however, to reach profitability, and much of that will depend on international earnings.
This weekend it topped international charts as well with $81.6 million from 66 territories. “They had a solid weekend. But they’re going to be looking for a half-billion worldwide to make it a certifiable hit,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore. (AP)