Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Photo: Warner Bros.

Gorillas are not monkeys. You know that. We know that. Some of the characters in Kong: Skull Island probably know that. If you wanted to bring cladistics into it, you could call Kong a monkey. But dude is really an ape, hard stop. He’s got no tail! So forget the inevitable battle between King Kong and Godzilla, coming to a theater near you in, like, three years. Today’s battle pits our pedantry against our taste for puns. And as much as we’d just love to report that this Kong isn’t monkeying around or that audiences took to it like a barrel full of monkeys or that it made some serious (monkey) business, none of that would scan, scientifically speaking. Quick, who knows some general primate-related idioms?

As you might guess from these roundabout ravings, Skull Island did pretty well at the box office this weekend. Its $61 million opening was more than enough to secure it the top spot domestically, while its $142 million take across several international markets bodes well for its global future. And if audiences didn’t go as (ahem) ape for it as they did for the same-universe Godzilla movie that opened three years ago, at least Skull Island doesn’t have a lot of summer-movie competition to eat into its grosses, as its skyscraper-sized predecessor definitely did. (That said, isn’t this a weird repeat of May 2014 at the box office, what with a giant kaiju movie opening within a week of an X-Men movie, right before a big-budget Disney remake of an animated classic arrives to bury them both?)


With Kong the only new release opening wide this past weekend, the charts otherwise belonged to holdover hits. Logan, the runner up, is now only about $20 million shy of becoming the highest-grossing Wolverine movie, and it will need to make even less money to overtake The Lego Batman Movie for the title of 2017’s top earner. Meanwhile, the runaway horror smash Get Out continues to wildly exceed expectations; it crossed the $100 million mark this weekend, and is now only $20 million shy of its own benchmark: becoming Blumhouse Productions’ biggest domestic hit—a record it will likely soon swipe from another 2017 movie, Split. In other words, Kong may have won the weekend, but it didn’t throw that big of a monkey wrench into either film’s earnings. We resisted as long as we could…

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

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