When Logan debuted a week ago with £6.95m (plus previews), Warners executives would have been forgiven for last-minute nerves over the release of Kong: Skull Island. After all, Logan was enjoying warm critical and audience approval, and a strong hold for Wolverine’s final outing looked likely. Would the market expand to accommodate two action pictures at the same time?
In the event, Skull Island opened with £5.62m plus previews of £615,000 for a £6.23m total, knocking Logan off the top spot. There are two obvious comparison titles. The first is Godzilla, which lumbered out of the gate in May 2014 with £5.20m plus previews of £1.19m. Ignoring previews, Skull Island is 8% up on that one. The other is Peter Jackson’s King Kong, which was set loose in December 2005, debuting with £6m plus £948,000 in previews. Again ignoring previews, Skull Island is 6% down on that. Despite beginning with fairly similar numbers, Godzilla ended up with £17.2m and King Kong with £30.1m.
Given the arrival of Kong: Skull Island, Fox and Marvel should be happy with a 45% decline from the previous weekend for Logan. After 12 days, it has taken a solid £16.86m, which is more than the lifetime totals of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (£16.38m) and The Wolverine (£13.77m). It’s also ahead of the final totals for the original X-Men (£14.98m) and X-Men: First Class (£15.10m).
Only one X-Men film – Days of Future Past (2014) – reached a bigger number than Logan after two weekends. That film’s final £27.1m is the target Logan is chasing, although it’s likely to come up a bit short.
Narrowly missing out on a place in the Top 10, Paul Verhoeven’s Elle begins with a sturdy £223,000 from 62 cinemas, with previews taking that tally to £254,000. Not counting Bollywood film Raees, this is the biggest opening for any foreign language film this year. Excluding Bollywood and Polish-language films, Elle was beaten last year only by Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta, which began with £356,000 on its way to £1.34m. (The Guardian.com)