LOS ANGELES • Ageing fanboys and enthusiasm from critics propelled Logan, an R-rated X-Men spin-off, to a fat US$85.3 million (S$120.3 million) in North American ticket sales over the weekend.
Starring Hugh Jackman as the claw-fisted Wolverine, Logan was an effort by 20th Century Fox to freshen the superhero genre by pushing into "raw, ugly violence", Manohla Dargis, a chief movie critic for The New York Times, wrote in her review.
Having been fed one superhero sequel after another - Jackman has been playing Wolverine for 17 years - audiences are demanding that studios get more creative. Fox got the message last year, when its daring R-rated Deadpool broke box-office records and its rather rote X-Men: Apocalypse underperformed.
Fox booked Logan into 4,071 theatres, a large number for an R-rated film. The movie, which cost about US$100 million to make, not including marketing costs, collected US$152.5 million more overseas for a worldwide total of US$237.8 million.
The horror movie Get Out (Universal) was second, with US$26.1 million, according to comScore, which compiles box-office data. The Shack (Lionsgate), which is based on a William P. Young novel, was third, with about US$16.1 million in ticket sales.
Despite its Best Picture win at the Oscars, Moonlight (A24) collected only about US$2.5 million from more than 1,500 theatres. But A24 said Moonlight was a top seller on video-on-demand platforms. It was also released on DVD on Tuesday.