Early morning industry estimates are confirming what we saw late last night: Warner Bros./Legendary monster movie is poised to pull in between $60M-$61M after a $24M Saturday that was +19% from Friday’s $20.2M. And Warner Bros. is reporting Kong: Skull Island at $61M as well. On the high end, that’s a 35% improvement on the pic’s projections four weeks ago, and $11M higher from where we originally thought Kong would land. Imax brought in $7.6M at 382 auditorium repping 12.5% of the weekend. Eight of Kong‘s 10 top-grossing locations included Imax bookings. In total, the global opening for Kong: Skull Island stands at $142.6M which is ahead of the $135M we forecasted.
Regarding Kong‘s rebound, Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. domestic distribution president said, “I think the marketing sold the movie perfectly heading into the weekend. This is a great weekend for the industry overall and all of our exhibition partners. The industry is up 24% from a year ago.” In fact for the period of Jan. 1-March 12, the total domestic B.O. is at $2.18 billion according to ComScore which is currently flat with the same frame a year ago. That’s good news as 2017 tickets sales were lagging for a few weekends there.
On social media, you can also feel the warmth for Kong: RelishMix reports that hashtag activity for the Jordan Vogt-Roberts-directed movie has tripled since Thursday at 5.2K unique hashtags combined across Instagram and Twitter to 17.3K on Saturday. #KongSkullIsland hashtags are at 61.4K over four weeks with 21.5K for #Kong and 17.8K for #KingKong. Social gender activity is 60.8% male and 39.1% female while age is slicing 78% over 25 and 21.7% under 25. Since the Mexico premiere, Tom Hiddleston’s Instagram popped heavily with 254K likes on March 6th.
Reviewers already knew Kong: Skull Island was a fun ride different from other Kongs, and for moviegoers to believe it, they simply needed to experience the movie. Kong could capitalize on another recent B.O. trend: Well-reviewed movies like Universal/Blumhouse’s Get Out and 20th Century Fox’s Logan have experienced decent first Sunday holds (both those titles dipped 22% from Saturday). Given that, there might be a chance that Kong bests what’s expected to be a -30% decline.
True, a $60M-plus No. 1 opening in March is noteworthy, and we’ve seen other movies like Divergent 1 & 2 open to $52M-plus during this month, but damn, Kong: Skull Island is bloody expensive at $185M along with an estimated global P&A of $136M putting a cloud over its profitability. And it’s that high cost that deflates the celebration of Kong‘s No. 1 win. Kong will get dinged around the world when Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opens next weekend, but WB is hoping to make good at the B.O. during that six-week play period stateside leading up to Easter when kids are rotating on spring break.
Overseas is at $81.6M in 65 markets, which is alright, though financiers have told us that $120M would have been a better start. WB/Legendary’s Godzilla after ancillaries yielded a profit off a $529M global haul. Does Kong get there? Japan and China open later this month, and despite the latter country’s Tencent Pictures being involved in Kong: Skull Island, the movie isn’t a Chinese co-production, therefore it’s subjected to the typical rental for U.S. pics that’s between 25%-27%. We deconstructed Kong: Skull Island on Friday, and aside from Logan and Get Out stealing the monkey’s money this weekend, the biggest challenge for the latest iteration of this classic Hollywood brand is King Kong himself.
It wasn’t too long ago that Warner Bros. over-indexed on another dusty, expensive Hollywood property during its opening weekend run: the July 4th weekend opener The Legend of Tarzan. It too arrived in theaters with a huge $180M production cost (just $5M shy of Kong: Skull Island‘s). The Village Roadshow co-production was expected to post a low $30M four-day take, but WB pushed it to $46.6M. Critics didn’t love Tarzan as much as Kong: Skull Island, 36% Rotten to 78% Certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Both Kong and Tarzan earned very good CinemaScores (Tarzan an A-, Kong with various demos awarding it A or A-). Tarzan legged out to a 3.2 multiple off its 3-day of $38.5M to $126.6M, and Kong could generate a similar multiple with an end result well north of $150M stateside (Beauty and the Beast will definitely take a bite out of his legs next weekend all around the world). But again, in light of Tarzan‘s budget, it was very hard to get excited about the movie’s overperformance: Film finance sources inform us that Tarzan was definitely below breakeven after all ancillaries despite making $356.7M at the worldwide B.O.
When Peter Jackson’s King Kong opened in December 2005, that beast too was slow out of the gate, minting a $50M FSS and $66M five-day. It’s clear that Kong: Skull Island will be well ahead of that amount on Tuesday, especially with schools and colleges off. Jackson’s King Kong posted a 4.36 multiple off its FSS and finaled domestic at $218M off an A- CinemaScore, but that movie had holiday foot-traffic on its side, which always carries uber-high multiples with it.
In regards to Kong: Skull Island‘s marketing campaign, WB’s campaign aimed to introduce the origin story of how Kong became King with a heavy social media push. Stars Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, Marc Evan Jackson and other stars reached in excess of 53M followers.
Google Maps had their first custom program with Kong bringing the first fictional location to Google Maps. Kong: Skull Island Local is now officially on Google Maps, where users can leave ratings and browse photographs of the monster-ridden island. There were was an Alamo Drafthouse screening program in 20 theaters nationwide with talent Q&A broadcasted on Facebook Live. WB partnered with Machinima to bring the multiplayer gaming tournament Kong of the Hill whereby eight of Machinima’s top gaming influencers and network talent faced off during the Livestream hosted on Machinima’s Facebook and YouTube channels. There was also a #WeLOVEKong advance screening program asking each city to take to social media and profess their excitement to see the film through dedicated city specific hashtags, IE: #LALovesKONG, #PhillyLovesKONG, #LondonLovesKONG, #RioLovesKONG, #ParisLovesKONG etc. This program was tied to footprints Across LA – Large footprints appeared daily from LAX leading up to the Kong Premiere at Hollywood and Highland. Activity was covered and shared with #LALOVESKong.
Source : Deadline Hollywood