Kong returns as king of North American box office

Kong: Skull Island shakes up the box office this weekend, crushing Logan and Get Out with a new tale of the mighty ape.
Tom Hiddleston leads an all-star cast in the search for Kong on Skull Island.
Tom Hiddleston leads an all-star cast in the search for Kong on Skull Island. PHOTO: WARNER BROS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - In the box office battle of the beasts, King Kong easily conquered Wolverine.

Kong: Skull Island, the latest in a series of films starring the legendary great ape, beat Logan to top the North American box office in its debut weekend, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The film starring Britain's Tom Hiddleston, Oscar winner Brie Larson and the ubiquitous Samuel L Jackson tells the story of a group of explorers on a mysterious island that happens to be Kong's domain.

The latest reboot of the 1933 Hollywood monster movie classic raked in US$61 million over the weekend, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations.

That easily topped the US$37.9 million brought in by Logan, which stars Hugh Jackman in his final performance as the metal-clawed, mutant anti-hero Wolverine.


In just two weeks in theatres, Logan has brought in nearly US$153 million.

Bumped down to third place was the socially conscious horror thriller Get Out, the surprise hit of the year, with US$21.1 million.

Jordan Peele's directorial debut - he is half of the comedy duo Key and Peele - follows an African American (Daniel Kaluuya) who goes with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her family for the first time, but quickly realizes something sinister is afoot at their country estate.

The smart satire cost US$4.5 million to produce and has already taken in more than $111 million in three weeks.

The Shack, based on a Christian-oriented novel by Canadian author William Young about a grieving man's spiritual journey after his child dies, landed in fourth place with just over US$10 million.


Fifth place went to CGI comedy The Lego Batman Movie, with US$7.8 million and an overall box office haul of US$159 million in five weeks.

Featuring the voice of Will Arnett as the caped crusader, the Warner Bros spinoff of The Lego Movie follows Batman as he tries to save Gotham City from being taken over by the Joker, voiced by Zach Galifianakis.

Rounding out the top 10 are: Before I Fall (US$3.1 million) Hidden Figures (US$2.8 million) John Wick: Chapter 2 (US$2.7 million) La La Land (US$1.8 million) Fifty Shades Darker (US$1.6 million)