Godzilla vs. Kong’s Monster Weekend Gives Hollywood Hope

Image Credit: iStock, SerhilBobyx

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Pandemic-focused disaster films have lost a bit of their novelty… but super-sized monster movies are always on the menu.

Godzilla vs. Kong just closed out a colossal opening theatrical weekend, netting a pandemic-record 5-day box office of $48.5 million in North America.

A Killer Opening

A year of cinema closures and a lifetime of streaming video at everyone’s fingertips has made movie theaters about as popular as video rental shops.

But last week’s debut of Godzilla vs. Kong in over 3,000 North American theaters proves that there are still plenty of movie-goers in the wild:

  • Released last Wednesday in the U.S. and Canada, the picture notched $32 million over the 3-day weekend and nearly $50 million over the full 5-day stretch. That beat even the most optimistic guesses of Hollywood execs of up to $30 million.
  • Overseas, Godzilla vs. Kong tacked on an additional $71.6 million to its box-office spoils. The film has tallied $285 million in foreign markets since last week’s opening.

It may have taken the collision of two monstrous franchises, but chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, Shawn Robbins says “this performance is yet another sign of just how resilient the theatrical industry can be.”

Return Of The Blockbuster?

According to data from Comscore, only 55% of North American theaters were open last weekend, compared to 2019 totals. And even theaters alive with the smell of popcorn were only operating at around 50% capacity.

On top of that, Godzilla vs. Kong was also stream-able from living rooms everywhere. With such an impressive theatrical release against all odds, as Robbins put it, “imagine what other blockbuster contenders will be able to achieve in the months ahead when given a reasonable window of theatrical exclusivity from day one.

the takeaway

To keep everything in perspective, Hollywood isn’t out of the woods yet… Disney’s Pixar film Onward made a healthy $90 million at the domestic box office in early March 2020, just before the pandemic hit.