Could Logan Claw Its Way To Becoming The Highest Grossing R-Rated Movie Ever?

It’s not often a film trilogy begins with a godawful first outing, continues to a mediocre second and then manages to knock everyone’s socks off with an utterly fantastic third installment. But somehow Logan has done it. The sight of Hugh Jackman awkwardly gawping at poorly CGI’d claws and the brow-furrowing reinterpretation of Deadpool (why would you sew the Merc with a Mouth’s mouth closed?!) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine has been thoroughly banished by Logan‘s violent Western pastiche that hits all the right spots.

Not only is a generation of X-Men fans over the moon at the first no-holds-barred big screen appearance of Wolverine, and not only are critics fawning over it (95% on Rotten Tomatoes as of now), but it’s pulling in big fistfuls of cash for Fox. Deadline reports that it’s already dragged in $9.5 million in the US purely from Thursday night screenings, with projections pointing to it doing a brisk $8o million domestically in its first weekend and $170 million globally. The accountants will surely be happy, especially given its (very much justified) R-rating.

This bests PG-13 rated superhero contenders like Doctor Strange and stable-mate X-Men: Apocalypse, putting it in contention to become one of the highest-earning R-rated movies of all-time. I can only imagine the tense negotiations between creatives and studio bean-counters to shoot for an R – after all, superheroes may be basking in mainstream popularity, but young viewers make up a sizeable portion of cinema audiences and buy merchandise by the shovelful. Well, they’re eating their words now.

Hopefully Logan and Deadpool‘s success will usher in a wave of more mature, complex superhero fare, and if they’re as good as Mangold’s threequel, I can’t wait.