Blood, guts, cursing, the R rating that allowed those things, a mournful tone, a non-franchise name, a lack of superhero cameos, and even wild horses couldn’t drag people away from Logan. The third and reportedly final entry in Fox’s solo Wolverine series overcame the aforementioned impediments to blockbuster-dom to make a cool $85.3 million this weekend. That’s the best opening of the year so far, but not the best opening ever for an R-rated movie—only, however, because its fellow adult-oriented, (mostly) self-contained chapter in the X-Men saga, Deadpool, still holds the distinction. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Logan’s success, the most heartening of which may be that you can take chances with a wildly popular property and still sell enough tickets to buy a life-sized replica of Professor Xavier’s mansion. Something tells us, though, that the main takeaway for studios will be that edgy, violent superheroes are totally in. The plus side to that is we may finally get that Lobo movie that’s been on and off for a while. DC likes money, too.
Another story of violence, faith, and wooded American scenery starring an Australian actor, The Shack, couldn’t quite match Logan’s grosses. But it did earn a respectable $16.1 million from the faith-based crowd, despite being—to quote our own review—“ one of those things that sounds bug-nuts but is really just a chore to sit through.” The other new releases did significantly worse, with YA Groundhog Day knockoff Before I Fall managing only $4.9 million and Table 19 making $1.5 million in nearly wide release. Both should disappear from theaters quickly, chased off by the roar of two upcoming March titles at least partially inspired by Beauty And The Beast. (Hint: In one of them, the beast is a king as tall as a skyscraper.)
Maybe Logan’s competition would have done a little better if it wasn’t also up against last week’s big winner, Get Out, which is shaping up to be quite the crowd-pleasing hit: Jordan Peele’s pointed, entertaining directorial debut lost only about a quarter of its audience in weekend two, landing in second place with an additional $26.1 million. Further down the charts, edging its way into the top ten for the first time, was newly minted Best Picture winner Moonlight, which parlayed its surprising (like, really surprising) Oscar-night victory into a successful expansion into 1,500-plus theaters—a move that’s helping the lowest grossing (and plenty would say the best) of the Best Picture nominees reach new audiences. Make time for it, America. Logan isn’t going anywhere.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.