The MonsterVerseMaybe not everybody knew, but “Skull Island” is set in the same kaiju-infested universe as Warner Bros.’ 2014 reboot of “Godzilla.” The studio calls this “The MonsterVerse.” It’s very likely that some fans stuck around through the closing credits, knowing that there would be a teaser for upcoming installments, including new battles featuring Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, not to mention the ultimate showdown, “Godzilla vs. Not to slight Marvel regulars Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Paying customers gave the film strong word-of-mouth, as measured by an overall B+ CinemaScore, but viewers over 25 liked it more than most, giving it an A grade.6. A $75 million opening would have been a stronger sign that “Skull Island” can earn back its costs. Good Buzz”Kong” earned surprisingly strong reviews, scoring a 78 percent “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. 3. 6 on the chart) and to “Get Out,” since horror tends to draw a predominantly female audience. The movie cost a reported $185 million to make and (if the recent “Godzilla” is any guide) more than $100 million to market. And it’s still two weeks away from opening in China, which could make all the difference. To the extent that reviews still matter to older moviegoers, they helped a lot.Indeed, even though “Kong” is rated PG-13, only 18 percent of its viewers were under the age of 18. Here are six ways.1. Nearly half (48 percent) were over 35. Given the strong word-of-mouth from last weekend’s smash opening, “Logan” was expected to lose just half of last week’s business and finish in the mid-$40M range, giving newcomer “Kong: Skull Island” a run for its money. Exit polling shows the movie drew an audience that was 56 percent male. It earned a clear victory over “Logan,” which fell 57 percent to an estimated $37.9 million. Meanwhile, in its third weekend, “Get Out” dropped an amazing 25 percent of the previous weekend’s business and came in third with an estimated $21.1 million.How did “Kong” beat the odds? March Is the New Place for Summer BlockbustersAs this column noted last week, March is the new May, with summer-worthy blockbusters coming out all month long.From “Logan” to the upcoming “Beauty and the Beast,” “Power Rangers,” and “Ghost in the Shell,” Hollywood is poised to earn nearly 10 percent of its 2017 revenue during a month when cold weather is usually still discouraging people from leaving their living rooms for the multiplex. (The radioactive lizard enjoyed a $93.2 million debut three years ago.)Still, “Kong” did earn an estimated $81.6 million overseas, for a global total of $142.6 million. Then again, there’s still spring break, which, for many students, coincided with the weekend of the new Kong movie’s release. Jackson, but the real star of “Kong: Skull Island,” and the movie’s biggest box office draw, is the simian special effect with his name in the title.2. Male Audiences Love Monster MoviesCasting “Room” Oscar-winner Brie Larson as the film’s heroine may have been an attempt to bring female audiences on board, but it didn’t quite work. Kong,” due in 2020.It’s not all rosy for the big gorilla. With any luck, world domination is at hand for the massive monkey and his fellow mega-monsters. Kong Is a Box Office Draw”You will have the tallest leading man in Hollywood,” is what “King Kong” creator Merian C. But as we saw last week, the rising-tide-lifts-all-boats effect was in play, and the successful debut of “Logan” seemed to put moviegoers in the mood to hang out at the multiplex, where they also bought tickets for fellow new releases “The Shack” (above) and “Before I Fall.”This weekend, “Kong” was fortunate not to have to compete against any other new wide releases, but genre movie fans still had a banquet of choices, thanks to holdovers “Logan” (which, despite its steep-ish slide, still made a ton of money this weekend, pushing its 10-day total to $152.7 million) and “Get Out” (whose strong third weekend came in part because it actually added another 205 screens, for a total of 3,143).4. Posted March 12, 2017 by Gary SusmanIt’s weird to think of King Kong as an underdog, but that’s what he was, going into this weekend’s box office brawl.It was supposed to be a close fight between the mighty ape and another hairy hero, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Cooper reportedly promised Fay Wray. (Some pundits think women are holding out on spending their ticket money until “Beauty” opens next weekend.)Then again, that makes “Kong” smart counter-programming to the young-women-targeting “Before I Fall” (still No. Lack of CompetitionYou’d think all these March mega-movies would cannibalize each other; indeed, that was the logic behind the lowball predictions for the “Kong” premiere. (Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” opened with $50.1 million back in 2005.)When the fog finally cleared from the mysterious isle on Sunday, “Skull Island” had grossed an estimated $61 million. It would also be competing against “Get Out,” another genre movie that’s shown strong staying power.No one expected “Kong,” yet another in a long line of attempts to reboot the 1933 classic original version of “King Kong,” to open much higher than that, either. And it’s a more even ratio than “Logan,” whose ticketbuyers have been 63 percent male.5. More than eight decades later, Kong is still a towering star, one so iconic he continues to loom large in the public imagination no matter how many years pass between screen appearances.

Cresting a wave of good reviews, “Kong” topped the domestic box office, racking up a mighty $61 million. In its second weekend, Fox’s “Logan” dropped 58% to $37.8 million, pushing its stateside total to $152.6 million. To that end, the film debuted to $81.6 million in 65 foreign markets. Jackson, and Brie Larson heading up the ensemble cast. The first chapter, 2014’s “Godzilla,” opened to $93.2 million in the states before topping out at $529.1 million globally. The opening weekend crowd for the film was 56% male and 35% under the age of 25. He went on to predict that the film would benefit from rolling spring breaks that will see more than 20% of the the nation’s schoolchildren on vacation and looking for something to occupy their time. It has earned $111 million in three weeks of release — a fantastic return on its $4.5 million budget.The top five was rounded out by Lionsgate’s “The Shack” and Warner Bros.’ “The LEGO Batman Movie,” which earned $10.1 million and $7.8 million, respectively. The latest LEGO movie has earned $159 million after five weeks in theaters.Among limited releases, CBS Films’ “The Sense of an Ending,” an adaptation of Julian Barnes’s prize-winning novel, opened to $42,000 from four locations, while Focus World’s “Raw,” a horror film about a vegetarian student who turns to cannibalism, debuted to $25,230 from two theaters.Ticket sales were up nearly 25% from the same weekend in 2016 — a period that overlapped with the second weekend of “Zootopia” and the debut of “10 Cloverfield Lane.” Revenues are up roughly 2% year-to-date, as the combination of “Logan,” “Get Out” and now “Kong: Skull Island” are translating into a busy time at the box office. Posted March 12, 2017 by ReutersBy Brent LangLOS ANGELES, March 12 (Variety.com) – “Kong: Skull Island” emerged victorious after a battle of the beasts that pitted the giant ape movie against Wolverine’s last stand. “Kong: Skull Island” opens in the Middle Kingdom in two weeks.Set in the waning days of the Vietnam War, “Skull Island” exchanges embassy helicopter rescues for oversized primates looming large against a fog-encrusted jungle setting. The R-rated comic book adventure is Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine after nearly two decades playing the X-Men team member.”Skull Island” gets bragging rights for topping expectations, but the film isn’t out of the woods yet. It cost a hefty $185 million to produce, which means that it will need to be a hit overseas if Legendary and Warner Bros., the studios behind the film, want to make a profit. Imax showings accounted for $7.5 million worth of ticket sales.Because of its massive production and marketing costs, “Kong: Skull Island” will need to do roughly $500 million worldwide to be considered a success. Next weekend brings the release of “Beast,” which should expand 2017’s lead.”This could be the biggest March on record,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore. A lot is riding on how the film performs in China, the world’s second-largest film market. The film is the second installment in a planned monster franchise. Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who made a splash with the Sundance favorite “Kings of Summer,” directs, with Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. have grand ambitions for King Kong. The low-budget thriller about a black man whose visit to his white girlfriend’s hometown takes a sinister turn, picked up $21.1 million. “You don’t have to wait until May to release blockbusters any more.” On the domestic front, “Kong: Skull Island” is also staring down Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” a live action fairy tale that is expected to premiere to as much as $120 million next weekend. “The Shack,” a faith-based drama, has grossed $32.3 million in two weeks of release. That will likely suck up most of the oxygen in the multiplexes, making it difficult for other films to keep drawing in big crowds.Legendary and Warner Bros. That handily beat estimates, which had “Kong: Skull Island” debuting to between $45 million to $50 million.King Kong’s roar didn’t totally drown out Wolverine’s berserker rage. The plan is for King Kong and Godzilla to meet in an epic showdown of primordial creatures in 2020.”The movie is pure fun and that’s translating into the box office,” said Jeff Goldstein, domestic distribution chief at Warner Bros. Critics embraced the decision to give an “Apocalypse Now” sheen to the oft-filmed story of King Kong, with Variety’s Owen Gleiberman hailing it as “a rousing and smartly crafted primordial-beastie spectacular.”With Wolvie and Kong duking it out for the top slot, Blumhouse and Universal’s “Get Out” snagged third place.