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Logan exceeds expectations by clawing in $85.3 million in US debut


Story by Jack Foley

LOGAN, Hugh Jackman’s final outing as X-Men hero Wolverine, has clawed its way to a whopping $85.3 million debut in the US.

The R-rated film, directed by James Mangold and based on the Old Man Logan comic, enjoyed the biggest opening of the year so far and one of the top showings of all time for an R-rated film or for a March release.

Prior to Logan, the top US opening of 2017 belonged to animated family movie The Lego Batman Movie ($83 million), which shows just how popular the Wolverine character has become with fans.

But heading into the weekend, the R rating – owing to the film’s extremely violent content – could have proved a stumbling block, particularly as the film followed in the wake of one of the weaker performing X-Men films, last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse.

The fantastic haul therefore vindicates Twentieth Century Fox’s decision to invest in the film and trust in the vision of director Mangold and leading man Jackman, while marking another R-rated superhero success in the wake of last year’s Deadpool.

However, Deadpool does still have the last laugh in America, having landed a whopping $132.4 million on its launch. A teaser trailer for that film’s sequel also plays before Logan in cinemas.

Of the other stats that Logan can be rightly proud of, the opening figure marks the fifth biggest debut for an R-rated title of all time, not accounting for inflation, and the fourth-biggest March debut, behind Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million), The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) and Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million).

Commenting on the film’s performance, Chris Aronson, domestic distribution president for Fox, said: “Jim [Mangold] and Hugh perfectly executed the movie they wanted to make. It is a very personal and visceral story for the character, which contemplates mortality.”

Overseas, Logan opened in the top spot in 80 markets and is the third-biggest debut for Fox International behind X-Men: Days of Future Past ($172 million) and Avatar ($164 million).

After China, the next biggest market was the UK, where it took a mighty $11.4 million, followed by South Korea ($8.2 million), Brazil ($8.17 million) and Russia ($7.1 million). Overall, the film’s global haul stands at $237.8 million.

Elsewhere in the US, Universal’s low-budget horror hit Get Out continued to perform well in its second weekend, slipping to No.2 with $26.1 million. The race-conscious horror film, starring Britain’s Daniel Kaluuya, has now amassed $75.9 million in the US alone.

Another of the weekend’s new releases, The Shack – a faith-based film starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer – debuted to $16.1 million, which marked the best showing for a Christian-leaning movie since Heaven Is for Real ($22.5 million) almost three years ago.

Rounding out the US top five, meanwhile, were The Lego Batman Movie, placing fourth with $11.7 million, and Young Adult adaptation Before I Fall, which opened in fifth place with $4.9 million.

Of the films to feature at last week’s Oscars, best picture winner Moonlight took $2.5 million – its biggest weekend to date, while La La Land placed tenth in its 13th weekend with $3 million for a US total of $145 million.

Overseas, Damien Chazelle’s musical danced past the $250 million mark for a global tally of $395 million.

Next story: Disney release first-look photo of Mary Poppins Returns