Does Skull Island’s Success Mean Anything for Legend of Tarzan Sequel Prospects?


The Sunday box office news is that Kong: Skull Island is looking pretty strong with $61M opening on a $185M budget, with Rotten Tomatoes critics score of 78% and Cinemascore ratings of A and A-minus in most demographics.  Deadline’s Sunday morning Box Office article  has a hefty section that discusses Kong in relation to Legend of Tarzan. Here’s what it says:

It wasn’t too long ago that Warner Bros. over-indexed on another dusty, expensive Hollywood property during its opening weekend run: the July 4th weekend opener The Legend of Tarzan. It too arrived in theaters with a huge $180M production cost (just $5M shy of Kong: Skull Island‘s). The Village Roadshow co-production was expected to post a low $30M four-day take, but WB pushed it to $46.6M. Critics didn’t love Tarzan as much as Kong: Skull Island, 36% Rotten to 78% Certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Both Kong and Tarzan earned very good CinemaScores (Tarzan an A-, Kong with various demos awarding it A or A-). Tarzan legged out to a 3.2 multiple off its 3-day of $38.5M to $126.6M, and Kong could generate a similar multiple with an end result well north of $150M stateside (Beauty and the Beast will definitely take a bite out of his legs next weekend all around the world). But again, in light of Tarzan‘s budget, it was very hard to get excited about the movie’s overperformance: Film finance sources inform us that Tarzan was definitely below breakeven after all ancillaries despite making $356.7M at the worldwide B.O.

So, once again, the culprit is the budget. LOT with a budget of $150M would have been profitable; at $180M, not so much.  LOT also drew fire from critics, and I’m curious to see Kong and figure out how it managed a 78% Fresh rating.  The trailers struck me as unoriginal and a yawn, but then that’s just me.

Full Deadline Article — click here

Thanks to mburns for flagging the Deadline article.