After 17 years, Hugh Jackman has become almost synonymous with the Marvel character Wolverine, the role that essentially launched his acting career. But now, after almost two decades, the franchise is shutting down. Fox released Logan this weekend to massive success, seeing more $250 in opening weekend box office sales worldwide. That number is even more impressive when you take into consideration its R rating, meaning that kids, the majority of superhero audiences, could not attend without parents.
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Logan was expected to be an opening weekend success. But even critics were surprised that the uber-violent superhero movie exceeded its expected $70 million target in the U.S. With one day to go in its opening weekend, the film has already brought in more than $85 million, along with an unending stream of extremely positive critic and audience reviews.
Is 21st Century Fox onto something here?
Short answer – yes. The studio previously experimented with a hard R rating for another superhero movie; Deadpool. That film went on to bring in more than $760 million. Now, Fox has taken another step down that same path with Logan, an ultradark, excessively violent story, showcasing Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in a dark future, with a much more human weakness to the characters.
The fact is, studios only make a fraction of their profits from movies. The goal of a movie is to cover the costs of production. While massively successful movies are a great bonus, a studio’s real money comes from merchandising. A successful opening weekend is basically just a measure of how well merchandise sales may perform. And based on last weekend, Logan merchandise should be through the roof as the newest Wolverine movie just had one of the highest grossing opening weekend of all time, not too far behind Star Wars: Rogue One. which holds the top spot at a $290 million opening weekend.
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Now, Fox will stand to see hundreds of millions more generated through Logan merchandise, the majority of which comes by licensing its characters for use on third-party products such as toys, games, school supplies, lunchboxes, clothing, and even snacks.
And that’s not counting the dvd sales or streaming rentals and digital purchases.
Watch the news regarding Logan’s $85 Million opening weekend from Wochit Entertainment:
So while Fox may have produced $250 million in ticket sales this weekend, the real profits come once the credits are done rolling. And if the opening weekend success of Logan is any indication, traders should expect to see shares of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (FOX) to rise.
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