For a film that was billed as a somber final chapter for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, the star’s last appearance as the iconic X-Men character in James Mangold’s Logan is off to a thrilling start. 20th Century Fox took plenty of risks in making an R-rated film based on the X-Men franchise while letting Mangold have the final cut, but the gamble is delivering huge early returns.
From its opening frames, Logan wastes no time in establishing the relentless bloodletting that would occur whenever violence erupted. Following in the footsteps of Deadpool, Logan’s success with critics and audiences is building an even stronger case for more violent, profane comic book films. The film’s unique look at an aging Wolverine was expected to lead the box office after a big Friday opening and it didn’t disappoint, drawing in gigantic audiences at the U.S. box office – and around the world.
As reported by Variety, Logan opened with a dominant $85.3 million domestic total and earned another $152.5 million at the foreign box office, bringing its worldwide opening weekend total to a mighty $237.8 million.
These numbers saw the film roar past its $97 million production budget, and pick up a couple of records along the way; it’s the highest ever R-rated March opening, displacing Zack Snyder’s 300, and has the second-highest-grossing global premiere for IMAX theaters, with $20.6 million in that format alone. To further put Logan’s box office dominance into perspective, Get Out was a distant second place with a still-respectable $26.1 million. The Shack, starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer, took third place with $16.1 million. Rounding out the top five are The LEGO Batman Movie and Before I Fall, with $11.6 million and $4.9 million, respectively.
Logan’s hugely impressive early box office totals have no doubt been aided by the high-profile departure of Hugh Jackman, but they only further prove the potential of R-rated comic book films to draw in massive audiences. The immensely positive word-of-mouth is sure to see it seeing off stiff competition in the coming weeks, but it’s already achieved enough to justify more R-rated productions in the coming years.
That R was certainly hard-earned by the film, a relentlessly bloody and unrestrained movie that also reaches levels of visceral emotion rarely seen in superhero movies. Of course, this level of quality may not be consistently matched in future R-rated efforts, but for now, Logan has only just arrived at the box office and stands to be a strong presence there for some time.