After first being announced three Comic-Cons ago, Warner Bros/Legendary Kong: Skull Island finally will take its first steps on the global stage in 65 offshore markets including the U.S./Canada with a daunting production cost before P&A of $185 million.
Kong arrives in a lucrative spring break marketplace that will see 19% of all colleges off and 8% K-12 on Friday. Those ComScore figures will increase to 38% and 19%, respectively, by Monday.
Kong‘s projected global grasp in weekend one? $110M-$135M. Here’s how that breaks down:
In the states, the film arrived on tracking in the $40M-range four weeks ago, lower than Logan‘s initial projections ($70M) and Beauty And The Beast‘s ($110M+). However, there’s a notion that since Kong is sandwiched between those two movies on the calendar, that’s been the pin in his side when it comes to squished forecasts. The Jordan Vogt-Roberts-directed movie is now looking at $45M-$50M at 3,500 locations with all the strength from Imax and 3D. On the plus side for Kong, and this should work in its favor in regards to foot traffic, is that reviews are at 81% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s better than the reviews earned by Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s Hollywood classic reboot The Legend Of Tarzan (36% Rotten), which cost about as much as Kong at $180M (before P&A) and opened to $46.6M over four days with a domestic end of $126.6M and worldwide of $356.7M.
There’s a faction of trackers out there who believe 20th Century Fox’s Logan, given its momentum (it’s up to $104M through five days), might have a shot of holding on to No. 1; that is if Kong comes in at the low-end, and Logan falls 45% to $48M. Previews for Kong start Thursday at 7 PM.
After Kong: Skull Island was first announced at Comic-Con, Joe Cornish was originally offered to direct before Vogt-Roberts, hot off the 2013 Sundance Film Festival pic The Kings of Summer, signed on. Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons kicked the tires in regards to joining. Thor‘s Tom Hiddleston was always a constant attachment.
Back in May 2014, Warner Bros/Legendary slotted success with another vintage Hollywood monster, Godzilla, which cost $160M, opened to $93.1M at the domestic B.O., and grossed $200.7M stateside and $529M worldwide. Industry finance sources told Deadline that in the end after ancillaries, Godzilla walked home with a $52M-plus profit. The Legendary version of Godzilla even made more than Sony’s Roland Emmerich 1998 one which was then a summer event film for the studio making $379M worldwide.
And of course, we can’t forget Peter Jackson’s King Kong which was 3 hours and 7 minutes long. Luckily in terms of the number of showtimes at a particular theater, Kong: Skull Island can bank on more in a given day than its 2005 predecessor since this version is a mere two hours. Jackson’s gorilla marked his first big pic post the Oscar-winning Lord Of The Rings trilogy and it debuted to $66.1M over five days ($50M FSS) with a final domestic of $218M, and global of $550.5M from a $207M budget.
This week’s foreign territories include an opening in France today as well as Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Russia, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and Australia this weekend. China goes March 24 and Japan bows March 25. We’re already hearing that there’s strong business out of Paris. There are no other major wide openers this frame offshore with the main competition being the holdover of last week’s beast Logan. International opening estimates are pegged at $65M-$85M for this ensemble that includes Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Oscar winner Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. Some think it could inch up closer to $100M, although that’s at the high-end.
Bearing in mind the currency swings in the past few years, King Kong minted more than $332M abroad, opening to $83M in a December bow (the UK, France and Korea led markets); and 2014’s Godzilla debuted to $103M abroad and finaled at $328.4M overseas led by China, Japan and the UK.
Other offshore comp titles are 2013’s Pacific Rim which made about 36% of its full $309M overseas gross in China with Russia and Korea also big fans; that same year’s World War Z, which had a staggered release and ended at $338M IBO was topped by Korea, Russia and Mexico; and Legend Of Tarzan saw China swing up 20% of the full $230M IBO, followed by Mexico and the UK.
Word of mouth is strong in foreign markets on Kong and the cast of acclaimed and popular actors also props it. Talent traveled to London for a Leicester Square premiere and junket; they also hit a Mexico City premiere and a Latin American junket. Coming up is an event premiere in Vietnam where the film was partially shot. A big Japan premiere and junket are still on deck.
Universal/Blumhouse’s Get Out will continue to be the exception among horror films at the box office. Through yesterday, the Jordan Peele-directed movie logged a running cume of $84.7M. In its third weekend, it will dip 25% for $21.1M sending it well past the century mark at the domestic B.O. Not bad for a first-time directing gig.