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Kong back on top

Kong is back on top of the UK box office with Kong: Skull Island having a great opening week at cinemas across the country. 

On it's opening weekend it banked $61m in the US which will be good news to Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures. According to Variety, the studios have high aspirations for Kong as part of a planned monster movie franchise. It's predecessor being Gareth Edwards' Godzilla, with the prospect of the two iconic monsters meeting at some point in the future.

Kong is of course legendary in the poster world, always breaking records.

In 2012, this three sheet US style B sold at auction for a whopping $388,375. The image shows Kong clinging onto the Empire State with one hand and the object of his affection with the other. At the bottom of the poster there is a scene depicting Kong clashing with an inhabitant of Skull Island. Apparently as part of the immense promotion of the current film, Skull Island appeared when searched on Goggle Maps just south of the equator.

Sotheby's sold a Style A for $244,500 back in 1999 to the granddaughter of Cecil B DeMille, Cecilia B DeMille Presley. Caretaker of his legacy, she is active in collecting and preserving film artifacts. After the auction she declared her intention to donate the poster to an LA museum for future generations to enjoy. 

These prices may go some way to represent what a huge event King Kong was in the movie world at the time. Willis O'Brien used groundbreaking stop motion animation to bring the creatures in the film to life. He found a way to not only make them part of the cast but allowing them to show emotion too. (Not a surprise that Ray Harryhausen was a protegee of O'Brien.)

It broke ground too with it's score. In our opinion the soundtrack is another integral cast member. Think John Williams, Hans Zimmer and Ennio Morricone, with their scores the impact on us as movie goers is so much more intense.

Composer Max Steiner created an original thematic score for the film which was integral to the overall impact of the film, rather than just adding background music. It is often quoted as a change in how music was used in the film industry. (Soundtracks are another passion in the Screen Moments office, with Kong: Skull Island next on the download list.) As a consequence with these factors in place, King Kong went on to break box office records for RKO and became a true building block in cinematic history.

Getting back to posters, a personal favorite is the Rene Peron 1933 French Grande. A poster with it's clean Art Deco lines showing Kong swatting aircraft away sold for $22,705. During his career, French poster artist Rene Peron created more than two thousand posters. 

Coming back to the present day, we do like the approach of the posters for Kong: Skull Island. As part of the promotional material for this incarnation, Kong is centre to the action as always, and on a massive scale. Can't help thinking we've seen helicopters heading across a blood red sky somewhere before....heading into the jungle... 70's tracks belting out.... hmm......gotta love it.


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