March 2017 will go down as one for the ages. The Wolverine finale “Logan” has already proven to be a juggernaut with an $85 million opening weekend. And it’s already receiving Awards buzz, particularly for star Hugh Jackman. I’m also starting a campaign for Patrick Stewart to get a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
But the month is far from over – with four Fridays of gigantic releases to go. This week it’s “Kong: Skull Island” – the first time the ape has been depicted on screen since 2005’s Oscar-winning “King Kong”. Universal distributed that film, while Warner Bros. is behind “Skull” – setting the stage for 2020’s “Godzilla vs. Kong”, following “Godzilla 2” in 2019 – a lengthy five years after the reboot.
Next Friday, Disney unveils its live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast”. The musical stars Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Josh Gad, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans and Ewan McGregor. Projections are looking at a whopping $140 million open.
The following weekend sees a triple-header. There’s something for everyone, with the new “Power Rangers” movie featuring Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks, the sci-fi/thriller “Life” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, and the big screen comedy adaptation of the TV show “Chips”.
And on Mar. 31, DreamWorks Animation presents Alec Baldwin as the voice of “The Boss Baby”. Its competition: Scarlett Johansson’s action film “Ghost in the Shell” and Jessica Chastain’s drama “The Zookeeper’s Wife” (which feels more like a Fall/awards picture – maybe it’s not a good sign that it’s out in the spring).
Theaters will be packed throughout March. And the intensity won’t stop, as “Smurfs: The Lost Village” and “The Fate of the Furious” will dominate the first two weekends of April. Spring has certainly sprung – with the box office set to flourish all the way into the summer.