March is poised to kick off in a big way this weekend as Fox’s highly anticipated Logan unleashes in 4,071 theaters across the country, the most ever for an R-rated title. The tenth film in the overall X-Men franchise will mark both the final appearance of both Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier — roles they each began 17 years ago.
Adding to that boost of nostalgia-driven interest from audiences, the film is loosely adapting a fan favorite comic book storyline (“Old Man Logan”). Just as importantly, this marks the first R-rated entry in the franchise after years of demand for a true-to-character vision on film of Wolverine. Jackman’s push for this approach was key to his decision in reprising the role one last time, not unlike the well-publicized efforts of Ryan Reynolds get last year’s Deadpool to the screen.
Furthermore, Logan has been “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes with an excellent score of 93 percent among 107 critics’ reviews counted as of this article’s publishing. If it can stay above X-Men: Days of Future Past‘s 91 percent, Logan will stand as the best reviewed entry in the entire X filmography.
Social media buzz has naturally been a big driver in our expectations for the film, which we’ve had pegged at around an $80 million domestic opening for over two months in our Long Range Forecast. With Twitter activity comparable to that of Days of Future Past so far this week — as well as very encouraging Facebook growth for what is essentially a standalone character film — we remain optimistic in Logan‘s potential to best the $65.8 million opening weekend of last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse (in large part due to the star power and stronger marketing on display in this case). Its range is fairly wide at this point, with some outside potential to near the $98 million inflation-adjusted of 2009’s first character spin-off, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Get Out Aims to Sprout Long Legs
Set to hold very well in its sophomore frame this weekend, Get Out should ride momentum from its $33.4 million debut last weekend as audiences continues to spread the word about Jordan Peele’s strongly reviewed, social commentary thriller. A finish in the runner-up spot should be an easy goal.
The Shack Corners Faith-Based Audiences
This weekend will also see the debut of The Shack, a faith-based adaptation that studio sources have pegged to open close to $10 million or more. Traditional and social tracking metrics that we’ve observed generally back that up, and Octavia Spencer’s growing star power could certainly help. With an audience of book fans included, this could break the recent string of low-earning faith-based films and target a debut closer to releases such as War Room and Miracles from Heaven.
Before I Fall Likely to Underperform
Before I Fall marks the final new release this weekend, although pre-release trends for the film are unfortunately lukewarm at this point. Tracking has been on par with the likes of The Space Between Us and The Edge of Seventeen.
Check out our weekend forecast in the table below.
|Title||Distributor||Weekend||Domestic Total through Sunday, March 5||% Change|
|The LEGO Batman Movie||Warner Bros.||$12,200,000||$149,200,000||-36.49%|
|John Wick: Chapter Two||Lionsgate/Summit||$5,620,000||$83,780,000||-40.00%|
|La La Land||Lionsgate/Summit||$4,690,000||$147,360,000||0.00%|
|The Great Wall||Universal||$4,560,000||$42,520,000||-50.00%|
|Fifty Shades Darker||Universal||$4,290,000||$110,580,000||-45.00%|
|Before I Fall||Open Road||$3,500,000||$3,500,000||NEW|
Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.