Final Monday Writethru:  There it is. There’s that great word of mouth working in Kong: Skull Island‘s favor.  

WB

Final Monday estimates remained in sync with what we saw Sunday: Warner Bros./Legendary’s monster movie opened to $61M, a 35% improvement on the pic’s projections four weeks ago, which were in the mid-$40M range, and $11M higher from where we originally thought Kong would land. Imax brought in $7.4M at 382 auditoriums, repping 12% of the weekend. Eight of Kong‘s 10 top-grossing locations included Imax bookings. In total, the global opening for Kong: Skull Island stands at $146.1M, which is ahead of the $135M we forecasted.

Regarding Kong‘s rebound, Warner Bros. domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein said: “I think the marketing sold the movie perfectly heading into the weekend. This is a great weekend for the industry overall and all of our exhibition partners. The industry is up 23% from a year ago.” Total ticket sales for March 10-12 came in at $165.3M, clicking past the $135M for the same frame a year ago. In fact for the period of Jan. 1-March 12, the total domestic B.O. is at $2.18 billion according to ComScore which is flat with the same frame a year ago. That’s good news, as 2017 tickets sales have been lagging for a few weekends.

On social media, you can also feel the warmth for Kong: RelishMix reports that hashtag activity for the Jordan Vogt-Roberts-directed movie has tripled since Thursday at 5.2K unique hashtags combined across Instagram and Twitter to 17.3K on Saturday. #KongSkullIsland hashtags are at 61.4K over four weeks with 21.5K for #Kong and 17.8K for #KingKong. Social gender activity is 60.8% male and 39.1% female while age is slicing 78% over 25 and 21.7% under 25. Since the Mexico premiere, Tom Hiddleston’s Instagram popped heavily with 254K likes on March 6th.

Warner Bros.

True, a $61M No. 1 opening in March is noteworthy, and we’ve seen other movies like Divergent 1 & 2 open to $52M-plus during this month, but damn, Kong: Skull Island is bloody expensive at $185M along with an estimated global P&A of $136M putting a cloud over its profitability. And it’s that high cost that deflates the celebration of Kong‘s No. 1 win. Kong will get dinged around the world when Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opens next weekend. Here in the states the live-action Disney feature is set to pull in $120M-$130M with Kong taking an estimated 55% tumble. Nonetheless WB is hoping to make good at the B.O. during that six-week play period stateside leading up to Easter when kids are rotating on spring break.

Overseas is at $85.1M in 65 markets, which is alright, though financiers have told us that $120M would have been a better start. WB/Legendary’s Godzilla after ancillaries yielded a profit off a $529M global haul. Does Kong get there? Japan and China open later this month, and despite the latter country’s Tencent Pictures being involved in Kong: Skull Island, the movie isn’t a Chinese co-production, therefore it’s subjected to the typical rental for U.S. pics that’s between 25%-27%. We deconstructed Kong: Skull Island on Friday, and aside from Logan and Get Out stealing the monkey’s money this weekend, the biggest challenge for the latest iteration of this classic Hollywood brand is King Kong himself.   

Warner Bros.

It wasn’t too long ago that Warner Bros. over-indexed on another dusty, expensive Hollywood property during its opening weekend run: the July 4th weekend opener The Legend of Tarzan. It too arrived in theaters with a huge $180M production cost (just $5M shy of Kong: Skull Island‘s). The Village Roadshow co-production was expected to post a low $30M four-day take, but WB pushed it to $46.6M. Critics didn’t love Tarzan as much as Kong: Skull Island, 36% Rotten to 78% Certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Both Kong and Tarzan earned very good CinemaScores (Tarzan an A-, Kong with various demos awarding it A or A-). Tarzan legged out to a 3.2 multiple off its 3-day of $38.5M to $126.6M, and Kong could generate a similar multiple with an end result well north of $150M stateside (Beauty and the Beast will definitely take a bite out of his legs next weekend all around the world). But again, in light of Tarzan‘s budget, it was very hard to get excited about the movie’s overperformance: Film finance sources inform us that Tarzan was definitely below breakeven after all ancillaries despite making $356.7M at the worldwide B.O.

When Peter Jackson’s King Kong opened in December 2005, that beast too was slow out of the gate, minting a $50M FSS and $66M five-day. It’s clear that Kong: Skull Island will be well ahead of that amount on Tuesday, especially with schools and colleges off. Jackson’s King Kong posted a 4.36 multiple off its FSS and finaled domestic at $218M off an A- CinemaScore, but that movie had holiday foot-traffic on its side, which always carries uber-high multiples with it.

In regards to Kong: Skull Island‘s marketing campaign, WB’s campaign aimed to introduce the origin story of how Kong became King with a heavy social media push. Stars Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, Marc Evan Jackson and other stars reached in excess of 53M followers.

Google Maps had their first custom program with Kong bringing the first fictional location to Google Maps. Kong: Skull Island Local is now officially on Google Maps, where users can leave ratings and browse photographs of the monster-ridden island. There was an Alamo Drafthouse screening program in 20 theaters nationwide with talent Q&A broadcasted on Facebook Live. WB partnered with Machinima to bring the multiplayer gaming tournament Kong of the Hill whereby eight of Machinima’s top gaming influencers and network talent faced off during the Livestream hosted on Machinima’s Facebook and YouTube channels. There was also a #WeLOVEKong advance screening program asking each city to take to social media and profess their excitement to see the film through dedicated city specific hashtags, IE: #LALovesKONG, #PhillyLovesKONG, #LondonLovesKONG, #RioLovesKONG, #ParisLovesKONG etc. This program was tied to footprints Across LA – Large footprints appeared daily from LAX leading up to the Kong Premiere at Hollywood and Highland. Activity was covered and shared with #LALOVESKong.

Logan also had a great Saturday seeing a 58% rise over Friday for a $16.3M Saturday, putting the Wolverine R-rated threequel at $38.1M in its second weekend, down 57% for a 10-day cume of $152.9M.

Get Out ran past $100M on Saturday, the fastest Blumhouse title to hit that mark in 16 days, beating Split‘s 19 days to the mark. Uni is reporting a $8.78M Saturday for a third weekend of $20.7M and running cume of $110.7M.

Lionsgate

Those that lost best picture at the Oscars, seem to be faring better than best picture winner Moonlight. The Barry Jenkins movie dropped screens and slid 61% as La La Land (-41%), Hidden Figures (-28%) and Lion (-37%) sustained decent holds. That said, Moonlight is a niche film that plays largely to upscale audiences. Given some of its adult content, it’s hard for the movie to play in the Bible Belt where pics like Hidden Figures and The Help thrive. Further compounding Moonlight‘s dimming is the fact that it’s available on home entertainment unlike its Oscar rivals. Lion may have come up empty-handed at the Oscars, but is headed toward $50M.

Lionsgate is currently third in domestic marketshare with $283.4M ahead of major studios Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount and Sony thanks to the momentum of three titles in the top 10: The Shack, La La Land, and John Wick: Chapter 2. 

Final ComScore numbers for the weekend of March 10-12:

  1. Kong: Skull Island (WB) $61M, 3,846 locations, $15,867 average/1 Week.
  2. Logan (Fox), $38.1M, -57%, 4,071 locations, $9,362 average, $152.9M, 2 Weeks.
  3. Get Out (Uni), $20.7M, -27%, 3,143 locations, $6,600 average, $110.7M, 3 Weeks.
  4. The Shack (LG), $10M -38%, 2,888 locations, $3,465 average, $32.2M, 2 Weeks.
  5. The Lego Batman Movie, (WB) $7.6M, -35%, 3,303 locations, $2,305 average, $158.8M, 5 Weeks.
  6. Before I Fall (OR), $3M, -36%,2,346 locations, $1,279 average, $8.9M, 2 Weeks.
  7. Hidden Figures (Fox), $2.7M,-28%, 1,421 locations, $1,943 average, $162.8M, 12 Weeks.
  8. John Wick: Chapter Two (LG), $2.67M, -44%, 2,031 locations, $1,316 average, $87.3M, 5 Weeks.
  9. MET Opera: La Traviata (2017) (Fathom) $1.8M 900 locations, $2,000 average/1 Week.
  10. La La Land, Lionsgate, $1.77M, -41%,1,578 locations, $1,124 average, $148.4M, 14 Weeks.
  11. Fifty Shades Darker (Uni), $1.65M, -54%, 1,498 locations, $1,103 average, $112.9M, 5 Weeks.
  12. The Lion, (TWC), $1.32M, -37%, 960 locations, $1,379 average, $48.6M, 16 Weeks.
  13. Fist Fight, (WB), $1.3M,-54%, 1,285 locations, $1,014 average, $30.5M, 4 Weeks.
  14. The Great Wall (Uni), $1.26M, -65%,1,592 locations, $795 average, $43.8M, 4 Weeks.
  15. Split, (Uni), $1.25M, -40%,981 locations, $1,278 average, $135.8M, 8 Weeks.
  16. A Dog’s Purpose, (Uni), -38%, $1.09M, 1,022 locations, $1,072 average, $61.7M, 7 Weeks.
  17. Rock Dog (LG), $1.03M, -55%, 1,376 locations, $750 average, $8.2M, 3 Weeks.
  18. Moonlight (A24), $901K,-61%, 987 locations, $913 average, $26.8M, 21 Weeks.
  19. Badrinath Ki Dulhania (FIP), $862K, 152 locations, $5,671 average,/1 Week.
  20. Table 19 (FSL), $841K, -47%, 868 locations, $969 average, $2.978M, 2 Weeks.

 

Sunday estimates per studio-reported figures:

1.) Kong: Skull Island (20th/Leg), 3,846 theaters  / $20.2M Fri. (includes $3.7M in previews) /$24M Sat/$16.7M Sun/ 3-day: $61M /Wk 1

2.) Logan (Fox), 4,071 theaters  (0)/ $10.4M Fri. (-68%) /$16.4M Sat/$11.1M Sun/ 3-day: $37.9M (-57%)/Total: $152.7M/Wk 2

3.) Get Out (UNI), 3,143 theaters (+205) / $6M Fri. (-25%) / $8.76M Sat/$6.3M Sun/3-day: $21.07M (-25%)/Total: $111.05M/Wk 3

4.) The Shack (LG), 2,888 theaters (0) / $2.7M Fri. (-51%) / $4.2M Sat/$3.15M Sun/3-day: $10M (-38%) /Total: $32.2M/Wk 2

5). The LEGO Batman Movie (WB), 3,303 theaters (-353) / $1.7M Fri.  /$3.6M Sat/$2.5M Sun/ 3-day: $7.8M (-33%) / Total: $159M/Wk 5

6.) Before I Fall  (OR), 2,346 theaters  / $930K Fri.  / $1.3M Sat/$858K Sun/3-day: $3.1M (-33%)/Total: $9M/Wk 2

7.) Hidden Figures (FOX), 1,421 theaters (-161) / $715K Fri.  /$1.3M Sat/$750K Sun/ 3-day: $2.765M (-27%) / Total: $162.86M / Wk 12

8.) John Wick: Chapter 2(LGF), 2,031 theaters (-444) / $695K Fri.  /$1.2M Sat/$805K Sun/ 3-day: $2.7M (-44%) / Total:$87.4M Wk 5

9.) La La Land (LGF), 1,578 theaters (+167) / $486K Fri/$803K Sat/$481K Sun/ 3-day: $1.77M (-41%) Total: $148.4M / Wk 14

10.) Fifty Shades Darker(UNI), 1,498 theaters (-707) / $537K Fri. /$718K Sat/$375K Sun/ 3-day: $1.63M (-54%) / Total: $112.9M/ Wk 5

Notables:

Lion (TWC) 960 theaters (-300)/$340K/$619K Sat/$402K Sun/3-day: $1.36M (-36%)/Total: $48.6M.

Moonlight (A24), 987 theaters (-577) / $243K Fri /$421K Sat/$337K Sun/ 3-day: $1M (-57%) Total: $26.99M / Wk 21

Table 19 (FSL), 868 theaters / $250K Fri. /$380K Sat/$220K Sun/ 3-day: $850K (-47%) /Total:$2.986M/Wk 2

Badrinath Ki Dulhani (FIP), 152 theaters  / $236K Fri /$370K Sat/$244K Sun/ 3-day: $850K/ Wk 1

Personal Shopper (IFC), 4 theaters /PTA: $23k/ 3-day: $92,5K/ Wk 1

The Sense of an Ending (CBS), 4 theaters  / $9,9K Fri /$19,5K Sat/$12,4K Sun/pta: $10,5k/ 3-day: $42K/ Wk 1

Raw (FOC), 2 theaters  / $9K Fri /$10K Sat/$6k Sun/$12,6k ptA/ 3-day: $25,2K/ Wk 1