Long Range Forecast: ‘Kong: Skull Island,’ ‘The Wall’

On March 10, will ‘Kong’ be king? Or will ‘The Wall’ set up a fortress around its competition? It’s a battle of two blockbusters as what looks to potentially be the highest-grossing March ever truly heats up.

Kong: Skull Island (Warner Bros.)

PROS:

  • The blockbuster with an all-star ensemble cast of The Avengers‘ Tom Hiddleston, last year’s Oscar winner Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman follows a team of explorers fighting to survive against the legendary monster King Kong. Though more of an “origin story” than a remake, 2005’s King Kong earned a stellar $218.0 million, or about $290.7 million adjusted for inflation. This installment takes place in the same universe as 2014’s Godzilla, which earned an impressive $200.6 million, in anticipation of 2020’s hybrid Godzilla vs. Kong.

CONS:

  • The marketing and trailers are playing up the action and fight scenes at the expense of any emotion, unlike the 2005 version which was much more of a “story.” Not that a plethora of violence at the expense of good characters or story usually hurts Hollywood films, but in this case it could be seen as a step down. Also, the studio is taking a big risk on first-time director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, whose only previous film was 2013’s low-budget limited release The Kings of Summer. Can he deliver the goods here?

The Wall (Roadside Attractions)

PROS:

  • The story of an American military sniper in a high-stakes negotiation with a terrorist from behind a flimsy brick wall stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena, the former of whom has been breaking out at the box office lately with 2014’s Godzilla and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Director Doug Liman has helmed such commercially successful thrillers as 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow with $100.2 million, 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith with $186.3 million (about $250.2 million adjusted for inflation), and 2002’s The Bourne Identity with $121.6 million (about $180.2 million adjusted for inflation).

CONS:

  • The young male audience this title is aiming for will largely be lost to Kong: Skull Island and the previous weekend’s superhero holdover Logan. And some 2016’s military-themed films all did poorly at the box office: November’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk with $1.7 million despite playing in wide release, while 2016’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot only earned $23.0 million. (Although Hacksaw Ridge did well, but that was more of a historical film than a 21st century one.) Fans of military movies are probably more likely to wait until this summer’s highly-anticipated Dunkirk directed by Christopher Nolan.

Check out the official Boxoffice Pro long range forecast in the table below.

Title Wide Release Date Distributor Opening Weekend Cumulative
Kong: Skull Island Fri, Mar 10 Warner Bros. $40,000,000 $100,000,000
The Wall Fri, Mar 10 Roadside Attractions $7,000,000 $25,000,000
Logan Fri, Mar 3 Fox $81,000,000 $205,000,000
The Shack Fri, Mar 3 Lionsgate $9,500,000 $34,000,000
Leap! Fri, Mar 3 Weinstein Company $6,500,000 $20,000,000
Before I Fall Fri, Mar 3 Focus Features $7,000,000 $18,000,000
Rock Dog Fri, Feb 24 Lionsgate $3,000,000 $8,000,000
Get Out Fri, Feb 24 Universal $20,000,000 $56,000,000
The Great Wall Fri, Feb 17 Universal $34,000,000* $68,000,000
Fist Fight Fri, Feb 17 Warner Bros. $25,000,000* $63,000,000
A Cure For Wellness Fri, Feb 17 Fox $13,500,000* $35,000,000
Patient Zero Fri, Feb 17 Sony / Columbia $8,500,000* $19,000,000
Fifty Shades Darker Fri, Feb 10 Universal $41,000,000 $83,000,000
The LEGO Batman Movie Fri, Feb 10 Warner Bros. $56,000,000 $210,000,000
John Wick: Chapter Two Fri, Feb 10 Lionsgate $20,000,000 $45,000,000
Rings Fri, Feb 3 Paramount $14,000,000 $29,000,000
The Space Between Us Fri, Feb 3 STX Entertainment $4,000,000 $11,000,000
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Fri, Jan 27 Sony / Screen Gems $20,000,000 $43,000,000
A Dog’s Purpose Fri, Jan 27 Universal $19,500,000 $77,000,000
Gold Fri, Jan 27 Weinstein Company $5,000,000 $13,000,000
xXx: The Return of Xander Gage Fri, Jan 20 Paramount $23,000,000 $55,000,000
Split Fri, Jan 20 Universal $22,500,000 $59,000,000
The Founder Fri, Jan 20 Weinstein $6,000,000 $19,000,000
The Resurrection of Gavin Stone Fri, Jan 20 High Top Releasing $1,400,000 $3,000,000

*= 4-day weekend, Friday-Monday, refers to Presidents Day in February.


Shawn Robbins and Jesse Rifkin contributed to this report.

Boxoffice Staff

10 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Chainsaw Mayhem January 13, 2017

    LEGO Batman will open bigger than that, probably around $95M.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Don't Mind Me Now January 15, 2017

    Kong: Skull Island does seem to be picking up good buzz so far. Similar to Logan and its “X-Men meets gritty western” trailer, the “King Kong by way of Apocalypse Now” style of the new film seems to be getting positive attention, and will likely serve to counter the “tired reboot” narrative. The problem, however, is that many of those interested are either aware of or have clued into the fact that Skull Island is meant as a lead-in to a future “Godzilla v. Kong” movie – and that could lead to a lot of people deciding to hold off on this film, seeing it as an unnecessary prequel to the REAL attraction. Anticipation of this effect, after all, is part of the reason WB decided to jump straight to “Batman v Superman” rather than reestablishing Batman with a solo film first. The trailers are playing their cards right, but it will take strong reviews to push a lot of potential viewers to actually buy a ticket for THIS film, rather than just waiting for Godzilla v. Kong. That will make the difference between a $35 million opening/$75 million finish and a $65 million opening/$150 million finish, both of which seem plausible at this point.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Don't Mind Me Now January 15, 2017

      Another problem for Kong: Skull Island could be that Fox will likely choose to release new trailers and marketing material for War for the Planet of the Apes around this time, given the whole shared “ape-centric franchise” thing between Kong and POTA. This could work to Kong’s detriment, however, since POTA is a well-liked franchise and could make Kong feel redundant to average moviegoers.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Octopus January 16, 2017

        Plus being sandwiched in between Logan and Beauty and The Beast wont help. Kong is going to be the odd man (err ape) out on that triad.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Jez January 18, 2017

          Not so much B&TB since that’s targeting the Frozen demo (little girls), a demo that won’t likely show up for Logan and Kong.

          Reply
  3. Avatar
    Michael January 15, 2017

    Kong Skull Island looks horrible based on the trailers especially the newest one. The effects look worse than the 2005 Peter Jackson version not to mention the heavy focus on action only.

    I like the cast a lot, but this just smells of a stinker. At least the recent Godzilla movie looked good in the trailers.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Ken January 18, 2017

      Are you kidding? The effects in Jackson’s “King Kong” were sensational!

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Michael January 18, 2017

        Duh I said the effects in the new one look worse than Jackson’s version. Jackson’s version had weta working on it while this new one looks like it’s being done by a cheap visual effects studio.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Kia February 24, 2017

          The trailers looks awesome. The effects look good to me. I liked Peter Jackson’s King but the effects in there was cartoony at most, especially that dinosaur chase scene. Don’t compare trailers to a film when you haven’t seen yet. Possible that it’ll look better on actual screen. And isn’t this a a monster action movie? That’s what everybody wanted.

          Reply
  4. Avatar
    Neiah February 24, 2017

    The trailers looks awesome. The effects look good to me. I liked Peter Jackson’s King but the effects in there was cartoony at most, especially that dinosaur chase scene. Don’t compare trailers to a film when you haven’t seen yet. Possible that it’ll look better on actual screen. And isn’t this a a monster action movie? That’s what everybody wanted.

    Reply

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