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‘Logan’ has massive weekend, ‘Moonlight’ shines

Mar 07,2017
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NEW YORK - The R-rated “X-Men” spinoff “Logan” slashed into the weekend box office, opening with a massive $85.3 million in North American theaters, according to studio estimates Sunday, while best-picture winner “Moonlight” got a significant, if far from superhero-sized, Oscar bump.

The debut of 20th Century Fox’s “Logan,” starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, puts it among the ranks of biggest March openings ever and top R-rated debuts. Like last year’s R-rated “Deadpool” (also a Fox release), the better-than-expected opening for “Logan” - a darkly violent, grittily dramatic movie applauded by critics - further proves moviegoers’ hunger for less conventional comic book films.

“Logan,” made for about $100 million, also sold $152.5 million in tickets overseas.

Last week’s No. 1 film, Jordan Peele’s horror sensation “Get Out,” slid just 22 percent - a small drop for any movie but particularly in the horror genre. The acclaimed Universal Pictures release, made for $5 million by Blumhouse Productions, dropped to second place but still grossed $26.1 million. Its 10-day total is $75 million.

The Oscar best-picture winner “Moonlight” had its widest release yet, appearing on 1,564 screens. It turned in its biggest weekend, too, with an estimated $2.5 million. That accounts for roughly 10 percent of the movie’s total domestic haul of $25.3 million. “Moonlight,” made for just $1.5 million, is also out on DVD and on-demand. Indie distributor A24 said it will be its highest-grossing release in its five-year existence.

“That’s a true Oscar halo effect in full view,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. “Usually the biggest bounce comes from the nominations. But this film hadn’t made a ton of money. A24 smartly expanded into more theaters, and it really worked for them.”

Barry Jenkins’ drama is nevertheless one of the least widely seen best-picture winners. Only Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” ($17 million) earned less at the domestic box office.

Lionsgate’s “The Shack” also opened in North American theaters over the weekend and came in third with $16.1 million. The Christian tale was slammed by critics but attracted one of the largest faith-based audiences in recent years. AP