The reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise took place this weekend and debuted to an impressive pandemic box office of 22 million. The film was a multi-release debuting at cinemas and HBO Max.
“Mortal Kombat,” a martial arts-inspired adaptation of the popular video game, took in a robust $22.5 million from 3,073 domestic venues. Those receipts rank as the second-biggest debut of the pandemic following “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which premiered to $31 million in March. Warner Bros. released both of those titles and made them available to stream simultaneously on HBO Max for a month — a strategy the studio is deploying for its entire 2021 slate.
Despite mixed reviews, the R-rated “Mortal Kombat” narrowly cinched first place on domestic charts after a surprisingly close race against “Demon Slayer.” In a not-so-distant second, “Demon Slayer” earned a solid $15.9 million from 1,598 locations through Saturday and is estimated to notch $19.5 million over the weekend. The anime action adventure, from Funimation and Aniplex, has been a massive commercial hit in international markets such as Japan, where it currently ranks as the highest-grossing movie ever with $365 million. In total, “Demon Slayer” has eclipsed the $400 million mark globally.
Box office analysts have been encouraged by the one-two punch of “Mortal Kombat” and “Demon Slayer,” especially since only about 55% of cinemas in the country have resumed operation. Multiplexes that have reopened have been required to cap attendance in line with local government guidelines. In Los Angeles, for example, that means auditoriums are limited to 50% capacity or 200 people. In New York, theaters have been permitted to operate at 25% capacity and will be able to expand to 33% starting on Monday.
You can check out the HipsterZOMBIEJoint Experience review of Mortal Kombat here.