Godzilla vs. Kong has been one of those films both the film industry and the theater industry have been waiting on to release for a bit now. Among other things, the movie was going to be a good test case of what would happen with big blockbuster flicks that were also getting a simultaneous streaming option for fans to watch in their own homes. We’ve had a couple of these, but this one is coming at a time when more theaters are opening up. And now we have the start of an answer with Deadline reporting the opening weekend numbers for the film. It looks like Godzilla vs. Kong opened up huge overseas to the tune of $123 million at the box office. Could big things be coming down the pike for the United States numbers as well?
Godzilla vs. Kong got an international release ahead of the one for the United States and opened in a number of different markets. The biggest and one the industry keeps the closest eye on is China where the film scored nearly $70 million. This has to be an incredibly encouraging sign for the chances of it landing big in the United States as well. The film represents, easily, the biggest box office numbers for a movie since the pandemic started more than a year ago and could be a sign that the theater industry isn’t totally dead.
The film released a week ahead of time internationally and will see the United States debut on Wednesday, March 31st. With an overall budget of somewhere between $160-$200 million, Godzilla vs. Kong grabbing more than $120 million overseas in the opening week has to have the numbers folks pretty pumped that it will recoup its operating costs and much more. These days, with films that were produced and filmed before the pandemic started, that isn’t a surefire thing to happen. The movie industry is in a state of flux with pandemic-related issues changing the landscape around overall box office dollars.
Godzilla vs. Kong is the fourth film in Legendary’s Monsterverse franchise following Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla. Overall, the franchise has been a success from a box office point of view, tallying more than a billion dollars through the first four movies. But the third film, King of the Monsters which came out in the summer of 2019 did represent the worst of the bunch up until that point with *only* $276 million. This latest film actually has a chance to top it at the ticket counter. It’s unlikely, but possible based on this opening weekend. With a strong showing in the United States, it would definitely be on the table.
It definitely helps that Godzilla vs. Kong was a success with critics as well. It’s sitting at 81% on Rotten Tomatoes and 61 on Metacritic. It’s easier to get folks out to the theater when the film is actually, you know, good.
Overall, this has to be an encouraging sign for the state of the theater industry and for studios looking to recoup dollars in a pandemic time at the box office. While we might never reach the same heights as before, it at least appears there’s still an appetite for sitting down in theaters for a film. Time will tell the whole story and the industry will be looking closely for when Godzilla vs. Kong opens this week.