When it was first put into production I don’t think anyone, even the most bullish prognosticator would have thought we’d be talking about Godzilla vs. Kong as a record-setting movie. But these are weird and whacky times and here we are. It looks like this flick, which just came out over the last week internationally and domestically is helping to signal a possible return to theater profitability and turned in huge numbers. According to Movie Web, the film had the highest opening day numbers since March 2020.
Godzilla vs. Kong opened in the United States on Wednesday, getting an early jump on the weekend and using the day as a signal for how the film would perform as it got into theaters. The numbers were overwhelmingly positive and turned in close to $10 million dollars in just over 2,400 theaters across the country. This initial turnout for the film has some projections sitting as high as $30 million for the weekend which would be more than enough for the studio to breathe easy on the release.
And these opening weekend, record-setting if you will, numbers for Godzilla vs. Kong were somewhat to be expected. The film was released internationally last week and turned in very solid numbers at the worldwide box office. That return was the tune of over $123 million including $70 million in the much-sought-after Chinese market. It was up to over $132 million total as of this writing and pushing close to the $160 million it originally had for a production budget. In these tenuous times for blockbuster movies, especially ones produced and filmed before the pandemic, there are no promises about even recouping operating costs. In this way, this film had executives likely on edge.
Though it’s easy to see why Godzilla vs. Kong had been the best-performing movie over the last year plus at the theaters. With restrictions beginning to ease in the United States and worldwide around Covid-19 regulations, it is becoming easier to simply get out to the theater in larger numbers. Also, it helps that the film is really good. Giant Freakin Robot’s own Hayden Mears calls it the “Best Monsterverse Movie” in his review, giving it a solid Five out of Five Robots. And he isn’t alone with the film sitting at 80% on Rotten Tomatoes through more than 200 reviews.
Godzilla vs. Kong is the fourth film in the aforementioned Monsterverse from Legendary Films and from this showing marks a bounce back film after a disappointing Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019. That film marked franchise low points in both box office revenue ($386 million) and critical reception (42% on the Tomatometer). For these stories to keep going, this latest film was going to need to be a success on both fronts. I think we can safely say that it was with a record-breaking first couple of weeks at the box office.
How far Godzilla vs. Kong climbs the charts remains to be seen. We will have an even better sense of things when numbers are released on Sunday night. But it would appear that the folks at Legendary might have a hit on their hands and timed it well with the release considering the current state of the theater industry.