Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine is off to a swell start. Logan, Jackman’s final go-around as the X-Men character, pulled in $9.5 million in Thursday night previews at the box office, which bests the Thursday night totals of X-Men: Apocalypse ($8.2 million), Doctor Strange ($9.4 million), and The Wolverine ($4 million). That is made all the more impressive by the fact that Logan is something of a risky proposition from 20th Century Fox as far as superhero movies go—it’s an R-rated, sober, reflective drama at heart, so it lacks to the bombast of most other superhero flicks. And yet that might be precisely the reason why it’s doing so well, as Jackman and director James Mangold dared to offer something different under the “comic book movie” moniker by going all-in on this decidedly low-key superhero film.
The 20th Century Fox film is expected to hit a weekend total of around $70 million, but that feels conservative. Deadpool was pegged at somewhere around $60 million last February, only to destroy all expectations with an actual opening weekend of $132.4 million—a record for an R-rated movie. Will Logan soar that high? It’s not exactly promising the same kind of funny/fun night at the movies as Deadpool, but it is a character that means a lot to a lot of people, so never say never.
At the very least, it’s not hard to see Logan surpassing the $65.7 million opening weekend of X-Men: Apocalypse. That film suffered a poor response from critics and audiences, but Logan could go a long way towards earning some of that goodwill back. Moreover, if Logan is a success, it gives Fox all the more reason to diversify its Marvel lineup. Not every X-Men movie needs to be a colorful affair that ends in a battle for the fate of the world. Making what’s essentially a serious Western-tinged drama under the guise of a superhero film is a risky gamble, but if it pays off, here’s hoping it only results in more interesting X-Men films to come.
Stay tuned to Collider this weekend for box office results as they arrive. And peruse our other recent Logan content in the links below: