– by Joseph Jammer Medina

For the longest time, studios have lived by the mantra that R-rated films, by and large, cannot possibly compete at the box office with their PG-13 counterparts, and it’s a mentality that is understandable. By giving a film an R rating, you’re limiting the number of folks who would take the trek out to the theaters to see the film, namely teenagers, who tend to a big demographic for these kinds of movies.

Last year, Deadpool proved that an R-rated film can be competitive in the superhero film genre, and so effective it was that it actually ended up outgrossing every single X-Men film to date — all of which are rated PG-13. This terrific performance undoubtedly gave the studio 20th Century Fox the confidence to move forward with an R-rated Wolverine film — something fans have been wanting ever since the character was introduced on the big screen. Last night saw the release of Logan into theaters, and according to Variety, it’s doing pretty well for itself so far.

In the report, the outlet stated that Logan raked in a solid $9.5 million in its opening night. Let’s go ahead and compare that to a couple other comparable movies:

  • X-Men: Apocalypse – Opening Night: $8.2 million; Opening Weekend: $65.7 million; Worldwide Box Office: $543 million
  • Deadpool – Opening Night: $12.7 million; Opening Weekend: $132.4 million; Worldwide Box Office: $783 million
  • Doctor Strange – Opening Night: $9.4 million; Opening Weekend: $85 million; Worldwide Box Office: $676 million

Now based on this, Logan seems poised to hit around $85-$90 million in its opening weekend, and if the positive word of mouth continues it could mean a long tail for this character-ending flick. As of this writing, critics have absolutely adored this movie, and it’s sitting pretty at 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. If this love carries over to mainstream audiences, I don’t see why we can’t see the film nearing $700 million in its worldwide haul, which would be quite the achievement.

While I’m being pretty optimistic about the film’s prospects, the folks over at Fox are playing it safe, shooting for a mid-$60 million range in its opening weekends. This is probably a good place to sit for now so that stakeholders don’t get antsy if the bar isn’t hit. Variety, on the other hand, expects it to hit $70 million — a bit higher than Fox, but still more conservative than our estimates.

Regardless, this is looking like a solid opening for Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the Wolverine, and given out great the film is, we’re hoping the best for this one.

Have you had a chance to check out Logan yet? If so, what did you think, and do you think audiences will come out in droves to see this one? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Variety

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.