“Godzilla vs. Kong” muscled its way to a pandemic-era box office record, giving Hollywood studios and theater owners alike hope that people are ready to return to the movies after a year of watching Netflix at home.
The tentpole, from WarnerBros. and Legendary Entertainment, generated $32 million over the weekend and $48.5 million in its first five days of release. That exceeded the industry’s expectations and easily marked the biggest debut since coronavirus hit. Prior to this weekend, “WonderWoman1984” had the biggest three-day start with $16.7 million, followed by “Tom and Jerry” with $14 million.
The results for “Godzilla vs. Kong” are especially impressive because the film is also available to HBOMax subscribers for no extra fee. Without providing any specific statistics or metrics, the studio said “Godzilla vs. Kong” had a “larger viewing audience than any other film or show on HBO Max since launch.” In Canada, where 80% of the market is still closed, “Godzilla vs. Kong” was released simultaneously on premium video-on-demand and made $3 million through various digital platforms.
David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, called opening weekend numbers “strong” given the “still-difficult conditions.” “While it’s half of what it would be under normal circumstances, the weekend is a clear and positive indication that moviegoing has inherent strengths that aren’t going away,” he said.
At the international box office, where “Godzilla vs. Kong” opened last weekend, revenues for the monster mashup have surpassed $236 million. It brought in another $71 million overseas this weekend, including a strong $44 million in China, bringing the film’s global tally to $285 million.
Ticket sales for “Godzilla vs. Kong” are certainly encouraging, but the U.S. box office has yet to fully recover from the devastating yearlong shutdown due to the pandemic. More than 55% of movie theaters in the country have reopened, according to Comscore.
Did you see Godzilla vs Kong at the theaters or HBO Max this weekend? Let us know in the comments.