‘Kong: Skull Island’ enters U.S. theaters March 10, 2017
Kong: Skull Island is the first film of the recently rebooted King Kong franchise. The stylish yet brutal final trailer debuted on February 27 ahead of the film’s March 10, 2017 U.S. release. Kong: Skull Island will undoubtedly draw comparisons to fellow monster films – but can it recreate the success of 2014’s Godzilla or 2005’s King Kong at the box office?
Set in 1973, Kong: Skull Island depicts an expedition sent to a mysterious island filled with deadly monsters. The expedition’s crew discovers the titular Kong, who is locked in a battle against massive apex predators and must find a way to escape alive.
The decision to reboot has been a point of confusion for some fans, but serves the purpose of allowing Kong to join the “MonsterVerse,” a team-up of Legendary Entertainment, Toho, and Warner Bros.
King Kong is one of the most well-known movie monsters of all-time, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that his last outing was positively reviewed (84% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and beloved by many fans of the genre and property. Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) directed 2005’s King Kong. It was slow going in the box-office but generated $550 million worldwide against a budget of $205 million, also earning three Academy Awards. Kong: Skull Island has brand recognition on its side despite the reboot.
Godzilla as a franchise is similarly well-known and the 2014 film was a great popcorn flick. It was directed by Gareth Edwards (Rogue One) with a budget of $160 million, grossing $529 million worldwide. It fared well with critics, earning a rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes out of 287 reviews. Fans who enjoyed both of these films will be interested in Kong: Skull Island especially when they discover that this is setting the stage for Godzilla vs. Kong, slated for May 29, 2020. What monster movie fan doesn’t want to see the two titans face off on the big screen?
Page 1 / 2 Continue
Creating shared fictional cinematic universes is the “big thing” in Hollywood right now. It’s the evolution of the venerable franchise formula, and certainly preferable to rebooting every decade. Legendary has done their best to stack the deck in their favor. Kong features an ensemble cast filled with heavy-hitters. The partial cast list includes Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. While not the sole indicator of success, ‘star power’ is still alive and well.
None of them are strangers to big franchises or interconnected film universes. In fact, all of these performers have worked on Disney properties. Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly are all part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while John Goodman has appeared in the two Monster’s films and The Emperor’s New Groove.
All of these factors will help draw in audiences who haven’t seen the king of the apes on the big screen for twelve years. Initial critical reaction has been largely positive so far and Kong: Skull Island currently sits at 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. What kind of fan reception it receives will certainly affect the final box office draw, but my outlook is optimistic.
When Kong: Skull Island opens on March 10, I fully expect this behemoth to smash its way to the top of the box office skyscraper.
If you like what you’ve read, please follow me on Twitter @kirbywrites.