Kong: Skull Island premiered in the United States Thursday night, and is now enjoying a healthy weekend at the box office. Despite competing with other blockbusters like Logan, the Kong reboot finally found traction here in the U.S., making a $20 million dollar jump in ticket sales since its premiere. Kong is the latest release in a string of throwback monster flicks.
Placed on a mysterious island in the South Pacific, Kong follows an expedition into an uncharted jungle. A collective of scientists and soldiers team-up to explore the wilderness, only to discover they aren’t alone. Kong reigns supreme on Skull Island, but is part of a very isolated ecosystem composed almost entirely of monsters. The film stars Tom Hiddleston and John Goodman, a tracking expert and a monster hunting enthusiast. Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson also take part in the action, as a fierce Army pilot and a photographer.
Kong: Skull Island is very reminiscent of previous Kong films, but has its own unique approach and story-line. Serving as a reboot, Skull Island isn’t exactly aligned with any other Kong flick, but is in sync with other recent monster releases, like 2014’s Godzilla.
The action in Skull Island is superb- a combination of Vietnam war-blazing and big, stalking predators. Kong maintains the same traits as his predecessors, that is, a passive, vaguely compassionate ape that has a soft-spot for beautiful women. While Kong keeps his image, his competition on Skull Island is new to audiences. Even Kong’s motives have been overhauled by screenwriters to make him more in line with other monster reboots.
Looking at Hollywood’s method of movie-making, it’s only a matter of time before Kong is mashed up with his former companions. The Godzilla remake saw a $528 million dollar return in 2014, according to Deadline, and is an iconic companion to King Kong. If Skull Island continues to outperform its projected ticket sales, we may soon see Kong face down Godzilla, that is, if they don’t team up first.
Hollywood has made crossover film-making a habit. The X-Men crossed over into Deadpool, and the Guardians of the Galaxy is rumored to be making the jump into the Avenger’s universe, Independent reported. With so many blockbusters being produced on a yearly basis it’s not surprising to see them overlap. Crossover movies are exciting for audiences and wildly profitable for the production companies.
Kong could find himself in the company of more than just Godzilla, though. 2013 saw the release of Pacific Rim, which followed humanity’s effort to combat the Kaiju- huge oceanic creatures that come from another dimension. Being a standalone film, Pacific Rim never references another monster flick, but the presence of the Kaiju and how they come to Earth is very similar to the monsters found in Kong: Skull Island.
Kong’s premiere is key for future monster film releases. If successful, Kong: Skull Island will be the official stepping stone into a potential monster melee. Future installments could feature any number of villains, including mankind and their robotic titans. Godzilla 2 is next in line to release, and will likely move its story closer to Kong’s. Its official title is even more revealing… Godzilla: King of Monsters. Kong has yet to earn his name of King, and might have to strip the title from Godzilla himself.
Kong: Skull Island is showing everywhere, and is holding up against the critics. A combination of survival/splatter makes Kong maybe the goriest monster feature to date, whereas previous monster movies rely so much on cityscape destruction. Kong sticks to its roots, and to the jungle, exploring a totally alien island instead of an urban setting. Kong: Skull Island’s premiere is another preemptive step toward even bigger monster mashups.
[Featured Image by Warner Bros. Pictures]