Logan Tops the Box Office with a New March Record

What should end up being a very busy March at the box office kicked off with 20th Century Fox’s latest Marvel mutant movie, as Hugh Jackman played Wolverine for the last time in the James Mangold-directed Logan. After grossing $33 million on Friday (including $9.5 million in Thursday previews), the action movie, co-starring Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen and Boyd Holbrook, brought in an estimated $85.3 million over the weekend.

While that wasn’t a March opening record per se, it was the biggest opening in March for an R-rated movie, one of the many differences between Logan and the previous two Wolverine solo outings and all previous X-Men movies. The previous record holder for an R-rated March release was Zack Snyder’s 300 way back in 2006, which opened with $70 million, arguably starting the race for March release space. (Last year, Snyder’s Batman v Superman set a new March opening record.)

More importantly, that estimated opening surpasses the $85.1 million opening of 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, although it still falls short of X2‘s $85.5 million opening in 2009. It’s still pretty good and Logan’s strong “A-” CinemaScore shows it to be well-received among the fans with the same CinemaScore as 2013’s The Wolverine.

On top of that, Logan grossed an amazing $152.5 million from its day-and-date international roll-out into 81 markets, which is Fox’s third-biggest international opening after X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avatar. It was #1 in China with $46.3 million, #1 in the UK with $11.4 million, and #1 in South Korea ($8.2 million), Brazil ($8.2 million) and Russia ($7.1 million)

$10.1 million of that domestic opening gross came from 381 IMAX screens, which ended up being just under half the total global IMAX gross for the weekend. Of the $10.6 million made from IMAX internationally, $4.4 million of that was from China’s 388 IMAX screens.