Kong: Skull Island won't be Hollywood's first attempt to retell the story of King Kong, but it may be the most inventive take on the classic movie monster. Taking place in the '70s, the film has wrapped itself in the trappings of period action while mining plenty of humor to ground the story. That and its focus on Kong's fantastical home gives the movie its own unique flavor and appeal. The results have mostly worked, setting up a worthy successor to 2014's Godzilla and continuing Legendary's plans for a shared universe of mega-monsters.
Thanks to a series of impressive trailers, there's a lot of buzz surrounding the movie. Opening tonight, we think it may just have what it takes to unseat Logan from the top-spot. Already, the film is predicted to have a sizable opening, which would certainly help secure the franchise's future. We know Legendary is already planning a sequel to Godzilla titled King of Monsters for 2019, before they pit lizard and ape against one another in 2020. And while we'll have to wait until the weekend is over to know how well Kong does, its Thursday numbers are already proving the movie has legs.
Deadline is reporting that the early Thursday screenings of the film have netted the movie $3.7 million domestically, with an additional $3.3 million in a number of international markets. While that falls well short of Godzilla's Thursday numbers, it's a notch above 2013's Pacific Rim and well past the studio's February release, The Great Wall. As both were similarly monster-focused films released by Legendary, it should give you an idea of where Kong sits.
King Kong isn't traditionally considered a kaiju, but we've made the case that Kong fits the Kaiju mold. And considering he will be part of Legendary's shared universe that is already home to a number of giant beasts, it's safe to consider Kong part of the pack. The Thursday numbers are certainly good for Kong, but not mind-blowing. Logan, for instance, pulled in $9.5 million just last Thursday ahead of its opening - though that film no doubt benefited from being Hugh Jackman's last turn as the popular title character. Kong may not be able to best the X-Man, but the movie will likely serve as a reinvigorating shot in the arm of one of Hollywood's oldest IPs.
For those who have seen the movie, we'd invite you to come join our spoiler-filled discussion page. It's a great place to discuss the connections the movie has to Godzilla, and explore what the end-credits scene means for the future of the franchise. By tomorrow, we'll have the Friday numbers for the film and a better idea of how it will perform overall, so stay tuned for all the Kong: Skull Island news there is.
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) release date: Mar 10, 2017
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019