'Logan' Poised for Best Finish Over the Weekend
WEEKEND PREVIEW:The final, R-rated, impale-happy, Hugh Jackman-cussing Wolverine film, Logan hits 4,071 theaters this weekend and Fox's guidance is $60 million. The studio is pulling its punches (or adamantium claws) though as that means they think it's heading for $14.7K per screen average. In a weekend where its competition is the well-reviewed holdover Get Out, the Groundhog Day YA film, Before I Fall, and Lionsgate/Summit's faith-based film, The Shack, Logan's prospects seem better than that.

Since moving out of the X-Men Academy to make it on his own Wolverine has had solid commercial, if not always critical, success. The first outing, 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine may have made $85 million its opening weekend (in 4,099 theaters for a psa of $20.8K) but it had a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 6.7 on IMDb, a B+ on CinemaScore and nearly knee-capped the Deadpool character for all time. It ended up with $173 million domestic, $193 million foreign for a $373 million worldwide take. Nothing to dismiss but it didn't have anyone hankering for another film. The ill-will that Gavin Hood film caused transferred to the opening domestic weekend of its sequel, 2013's The Wolverine, with a $53 million start in 3,924 theaters and a much lower $13.5K per theater take. That film, directed by James Mangold, had a much better critical reception from the critics and the public though. The 69% rating on RT was higher, the CinemaScore was higher (A-) and the $132 million domestic, $282 million foreign for a $414 million worldwide take was higher.

Logan enters the weekend with Mangold once again at the helm, a bunch of rave reviews from its Berlin premiere, a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.9 on IMDb. At $18K per theater it ends up on Sunday with $74 million, if not more. That would place it, albeit briefly, at the #1 position for weekend box-office takes for 2017, at least until Beauty and the Beast shows up two weeks from now. In the X-Men franchise that tally puts it at #5 for domestic weekend openings. Logan is a grittier, dirtier film than all the previous X-Men, a Western without horses (if you don't count the allusions to director George Stevens's' 1953 oater Shane peppered throughout) and is, much to its credit, gorier, more somber, and far less humorous than the R-rated Deadpool. It's also 2 hours and 17 minutes. That unnecessarily long run time could hurt its overall box office as it loses more playable shows per day. But it also feels like a real movie, a least a fitting one to end the particular run of Jackman as the title character.

Get Out has held steady over the week, making more on Tuesday than it did on Monday. Its domestic take sits at $43 million with a likely gentle 33 - 35% decrease week-over-week decline.

Before I Fall, in 2,346 theaters, boasts a bevvy of actresses to watch, particularly lead Zoe Deutch. She plays an elite high school student who has to live the same Feb. 12th day over and over again. Wearing a not-bad 74% badge on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.5 IMDb rating it has a chance of earning back its budget for Open Road. It also comes in with a fan-base, those who read the bestselling YA book by Lauren Oliver.

Also based on a book is The Shack, which debuts in an impressive 2,888 theaters and looks to be heading for a $12 - $13 million opening. Starring Sam Worthington and Academy Award-winner and 2016 nominee Octavia Spencer, Shack should do much better than last year's God's Not Dead 2, the sequel which opened with $7.6 million in 2,419 theaters in April. Even though The Shack is saddled with a 15% Tomato-meter it probably won't be a deterrent to those seeking this film out over the weekend.

In the wake of winning Best Picture at the Oscars A24 is adding 1,500 theaters for Moonlight. How it will fare is somewhat of a mystery given that it's been available for quite a while on VOD, DVD and Blu-Ray. For a film that cost an estimated $1.5 million anything else added to its current $22 million domestic take is gravy. Let's hope people get out to the cinema this weekend to do just that.

  • Logan (4,071 theaters) - $74 M
  • Get Out - $22.0 M
  • The Shack - (2,888 theaters) - $12.5 M
  • The LEGO Batman Movie (4,088 theaters) - $10.0 M
  • John Wick, Chapter 2 - (2,500 theaters) - $5.2 M
  • The Great Wall - $4.5 M
  • Before I Fall - (2,346 theaters) - $4.0M
  • Fifty Shades Darker - $3.6 M
  • Fist Fight - $3.0 M
  • Moonlight - $2.8 M

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