Hugh Jackman’s “Logan” is looking at a huge $60 million opening when it hits theaters on March 3.
According to box office analysts, tracking for the film lies in the $55 million to $60 million range, two weeks before the studio’s third standalone “Wolverine” film.
The first film, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” opened to $85 million in 2009. Its sequel, “The Wolverine,” debuted to $53 million in 2013. The second film received better critical reviews than the first. “Origins” has a score of 38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while “Wolverine” received a score of 69 percent.
So while “Logan” isn’t looking at an opening number comparable to “Origins,” a $60 million opening is great, especially for a March release. The two previous films opened in the summer.
However, “Logan” isn’t expected to have long legs at the box office, given that Warner Bros.’ “Kong: Skull Island” opens the week after, followed by Disney’s huge live-action film “Beauty and the Beast” on March 17. Those big-budget movies are expected to crush “Logan” in its second and third weekends at the domestic box office.
That kind of drop-off is typical for films in the “X-Men” franchise, which usually experience a 60 percent drop off their second weekend.
In the film, Jackman’s Logan is living in a self-imposed exile with Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), while his mutant healing abilities are in severe decline. But his solitude is interrupted by the arrival of a young girl (Dafne Keen), who possesses powers shockingly similar to Logan’s.
When an army of mercenaries shows up to take her back, Logan and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) take her on the road to keep her safe.
The third Wolverine movie also stars Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Stephen Merchant, Eriq La Salle and Elise Neal. Jackman has previously stated that this movie will be the last time he’ll play the clawed character.
James Mangold directed the film, reuniting with Jackman following their work on “The Wolverine.” This will be the first R-rated film in the “X-Men” franchise.