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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Wolverined Klady

Friday Estimates 651 2017-03-04 at 9.07.40 AM copy

A $47 million Friday last February for Fox’s biggest Marvel opening ever. $33 million yesterday for what will be Fox’s #3 or #4 best Marvel opening ever and probably Wolverine’s best.


Apologies if that offended your eyes, but that is what these two openings have in common. That and a lot of blood. Hard-R movies.

This is the side of Marvel that Disney is not likely to ever embrace. If Disney does, that will be a huge story, not just about Marvel, but about the Disney company. But if things start to slide at Marvel as the current leaders of the franchises – read: Downey – finally age out and stop doing these characters and/or Feige leaves and numbers drop, all bets are off.

In many ways, this is the tack that Warner Bros has taken with Zack Snyder and the DC films… but like The Wolverine (the lowest grossing X-Men movie), they have tried to do it at a PG-13 level. Could that change at WB?

The numbers suggest that the Avengers films and Nolan’s Batman films are the exception to the rule in the comic book adaptation world. There are six billion-dollar-worldwide comic book movies to date. Four Iron Man/Avengers and two Batman. After that, there are only three $800m ww comic book movies, two Spider-Man and Batman v Superman.

The question is whether there is a strategy that will make the rest of the pack stronger… or for that matter, weaker. In the last 4 years and 3 months, there have been 19 big comic book movies. There are 6 above $800 million. Among the other 13, the low has been The Wolverine ($415m) and the high has been Deadpool with $784m. Within that range of grosses, there are movies like Ant-Man ($519m) that are considered hits and movies like The Amazing Spider-Man ($758m) that are considered misses.

As usual, it is impossible to make broad statements about what measure success has in the movie business, aside from the broadest (“$0 box office sucks, over $1 billion is a hit”). Would any of the dark-hearted Zack Snyder DC Extended Universe films have done more business as hard-Rs? Or would they have lost enough family business to make it a net loss? Suicide Squad? Is the “answer” to The Fantastic Four to make a hard-R version where we could learn how Ben Grimm and Alicia get down to “it,” and brings to life a Marvel version of the old DC joke about Superman and Wonder Woman’s invisible plane?

I don’t see any benefit to Ant-Man or Doctor Strange or Spider-Man or even Guardians of the Galaxy going hard-R. The Avengers too. But it is really easy to imagine a nasty, brutal, sexual Batman spin-off project. Would it hurt the brand? That is what will keep it from happening. Anyway… more questions than answers.

Excellent drop for Get Out, the must-see word-of-mouth holdover. Could be in the teens for the weekend.

The Shack is a religious movie, apparently. Likely budgeted for direct-to-DVD/streaming, so a nice number.

Before I Fall found a few teen girls, but not a great start.

The Oscar BP contenders remain Hidden Figures, La La Land, Moonlight, though Moonlight is getting a bump of a few million dollars and a load of new screens after the win.

comic book movies worldwide

17 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Wolverined Klady”

  1. Dr Wally Rises says:

    My feelings for Logan were not too far removed from those I had for Rogue One. They’re both well above average for a modern franchise blockbuster, but are so intent on hitting as many fanboy-wishlist buttons as possible that they have both been a bit overrated. What struck me most of all about the film were it’s bizarre similarities to Little Miss Sunshine. Credit to Jackman and Stewart for leaving it all on the field however.

  2. Geoff says:

    I really liked Logan and I’m not getting the Rogue One comparison because to me, it felt like they went to lengths to AVOID fan service more than pretty much any other recent film in the comic book genre. That said, I think the film is a BIT overpraised in the same way that The Dark Knight was actually – TDK is a really good movie but I still consider it the weakest part of Nolan’s trilogy. It has too many fantastic scenes to ignore but starts to wear out its welcome in the third act and in a few key scenes, the grim tone seems to overwhelm the flow of the story….pretty much the same with Logan.

    That said, Logan is LEAGUES better than anything else in the comic book genre recently whether it be the flat sitcom style of the Russo Brothers or the “iconic” image-obsessed wankery of Zack Snyder – kudos to James Mangold for stepping up his game on the second try!

    Glad to see it opened very well – in a weaker month, $300 million domestic would be a strong possibility but with the absurd competition, $200 million domestic isn’t even a guarantee. Both Kong and ‘Beast are getting the BARE minimum of positive reviews they need to avoid siphoning off opening weekend audiences – who knows what the reaction is going to be to Power Rangers or Ghost in the Shell but you have to figure if just ONE of them hits, that’s going to take away more audience from Logan. Seems like Fox at least kept the cost down to below $100 million so $550 million worldwide for a hard R film is a reasonably profitable goal – that would make it just as profitable as The Revenant so that’s not bad company at all.

  3. Joe Leydon says:

    Shouldn’t Superman Returns be on this list?

  4. Geoff says:

    Yeah and Green Lantern…but that’s ok. :)

  5. Ray Pride says:

    Mangold: “My initial proposal to Fox was that I wanted to make very bloody, existential version of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ with Logan and Charles Xavier.”

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    I think you missed a big point here: these hard-R movies can be made for a fraction of the cost with contained storyline, and so can be mega-profitable if they hit. Less risk, more reward. DEADPOOL at $60 million, LOGAN at $100-120 million. I don’t think you ever make a DR. STRANGE spectacle in hard-R. Even BATMAN would be at lower budget I think.

    Re: LOGAN, it’s easily the best X-Men movie, and is probably the best Marvel single-hero movie ever for me (people will debate this vs Raimi SPIDER MAN 1/2 or IRON MAN 1 I’d think). I can’t even put my finger on why I liked it so much….probably because it’s so unique and it’s like James Mangold had a Personal Interest Orgy on screen. Yes, it catered to the fanboys in certain spots. What doesn’t? But along with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, it’s the first time in years I’ve come out of the theater thinking about a superhero movie off and on for hours.

  7. EtGuild2 says:

    That’s a great quote Ray.

    One other point with mild-semi spoilers:

    what the hell does Fox do with their Univese? They can’t have expected this movie to open 60% above the last one, and likely demolish APOCALYPSE from a profitability standpoint. Hell, I can’t imagine they expected it to sneak past Chinese censors when SUICIDE SQUAD didn’t, so that’s another $20 million in gravy for them. Dafne Keen is so good you can’t ditch her, but you invested a ton of money in young name actors in APOCALYPSE to make New Mutants for a reason I assume. Even if I’d rather see “New Mutants” with LOGAN’s Island of Misfit Toys kids, isn’t that a hard turn to make?

    And then….where does DEADPOOL/X-FORCE fit in? Do you have three timelines, one for X-Men/Channing Tatum Gambit, one for Deadpool/X-Force and one for New Mutants carrying on from LOGAN? I have no idea, but Fox has a hot mess on its hands.

  8. Bitplaya says:

    Poland they needed The Wolverine just to let people know these movies wouldn’t be dogshit. X-Men organs was almost unwatchable and looked like it had a budget of $5.00. The Wolverine was a miracle considering it lost it’s director pretty close to filming starting, if I recall.

    EtGuild2 I don’t think Fox gives two fucks about continuity. In true comic book form they will throw anything at the wall and hope it sticks.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    @Bitplaya, if there’s one thing Fox values more than discarding continuity, it’s money. How do you look at these numbers and not drop Tye Sheridan et al., forget re-signing J-Law et al., and not just shift Channing Tatum as Gambit into either a “Logan/New Mutants” universe or “Deadpool/X-Force” universe? It’s what I’d do even from a continuity standpoint, but Fox never seems to get that there’s a connection between critical integrity and money with X-Men. Mangold gave them an out with LOGAN, but I’ll be damned if they don’t let Simon Kinberg continue to break shit with a TV show and needless spends on big name players.

  10. Sideshow Bill says:

    Thought Logan was pretty much perfect. A bit long but I can’t put my finger on what you would cut. Maybe over-praised but still I got 100% bang for my buck. Been waiting for this Logan for 20 years and didn’t disappoint.

    As a big X-Men fan I’m both happy and worried. Logan and Legion show what can be done with the property. But the film series is a mess, and I say that as somebody who even kinda sorta liked Apocalypse. I’d like to see Fox put X-Men on ice for a while and do New Mutants above anything else. Hard reboot X-men in 5-10 years (maybe not 10 years. I’m getting old) and get somebody who will stick with Claremont’s first team (more Colossus PLEASE!!!). So many great characters got nothing so far. Thank goodness for Deadpool.

    March is SO crowded I don’t have enough $$ to throw around to everything so I may skip Kong in order to see Get Out with my girls. They want to see that badly. Me too, and I’m trying like hell to avoid spoilers. B&TB isn’t one we want to see, but Belko Experiment and Ghost In The Shell are both must-sees for me unless the notices are shit. Ghost could be another Aeon Flux or another Lucy (NOTE: I like Lucy, and take a ton of shit for it).

  11. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Ah but Bill, Fox can’t just put the X Men on ice can they? My understanding is that if the movies don’t stay in production then Feige and co. get their mitts all over the property. Whether or not that would be a good thing is another debate. Same thing with F4 but it seems that Fox have finally given up on the franchise.

  12. Sideshow Bill says:

    Oh, yea. I forgot about that, Dr. Wally. I always do. Doesn’t matter because they’re apparently going to try and tell the Phoenix story again. I wish it well but ideally I’d rather see a reboot.

  13. TrackerBacker says:

    “Excellent drop for Get Out, the must-see word-of-mouth holdover. Could be in the teens for the weekend.”

    It made $8M on a Friday in a 2nd week in release. It’ll easily be in the $20s, not teens.

  14. Schmoop says:

    TrackerBacker, he’s saying the drop may be in the teens. Subject agreement works best that way.

  15. Monco says:

    Totally missed the Little Miss Sunshine similarities but I did get a Thunderdome vibe with an antihero helping a bunch of children.

  16. TrackerBacker says:

    Ah, makes sense Schmoop.

  17. brack says:

    I don’t feel like Logan has been over praised at all. It’s by far the best “comic book” movie purely on emotional level alone. I cried more than once, and I’m not even a Wolverine fanboy. Nothing from the previous X-Men films prepared me for what is hands down the best of any of those by a country mile.

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