Box office report: Kong: Skull Island clobbers Logan with $61 million

The beastly battle for this weekend’s box office crown wasn’t even close.

Legendary and Warner Bros.’ revival of the iconic King Kong film series, Kong: Skull Island, delivers a whopping $61 million, earning an estimated $11 million more than Peter Jackson’s 2005 series retool, which went on to gross $550 million worldwide across its entire theatrical run.

Industry forecasts had initially pegged Kong: Skull Island — directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts — for a bow in the $40-$50 million range in a tight race with Fox’s Logan, though the mightiest primate in cinema history ultimately flexed his staying power at the head of one of the oldest franchises (one that spans movies, theme park attractions, video games, and toys) in Hollywood history some 84 years after the first Kong flick dazzled audiences all the way back in 1933.

The debut marks a solid start for the big-budget picture, which reportedly cost around $185 million to produce. Internationally, the film posts $81.6 million from 20,400 screens in 65 territories, making it the No. 1-grossing film in the world for the three-day period. Audiences and critics responded positively to the action film, with polled moviegoers giving it a B+ grade on CinemaScore.

Despite glowing reception for Logan, X-Men star Hugh Jackman’s third and final Wolverine spinoff fell roughly 57 percent from its opening number, dipping one slot…