In news that will have movie theater operators smiling for days, Godzilla vs. Kong opened in the US this weekend to a massive box office haul of $48.5 million. It marks the biggest domestic opening for a film since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Variety.
What makes the news even more impressive is the fact that Godzilla vs. Kong was simultaneously released in theaters and on HBO Max. Despite its streaming availability, as well the reality that some some 40% of theaters in the US remain shuttered (and those that are open are at a reduced capacity), the Legendary blockbuster still managed to triple the previous box office high during the pandemic. Prior to this weekend, Wonder Woman 1984 had the biggest three-day opening with $16.7 million, followed by Tom and Jerry with $14 million.
Godzilla vs. Kong fared even better overseas. To date, the film’s international box office sits at $236 million, with more than $110 million of that total attributed to ticket sales in China.
The success of Godzilla vs. Kong has far exceeded initial industry expectations, and has studios optimistic for upcoming theatrical releases. Mortal Kombat (Apr. 23rd); Spiral: From the Book of Saw (May 14th); Cruella (May 28th); and A Quiet Place Pt. II (May 28th) are among the next blockbusters set to hit theaters.
“This is really significant,” Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros, told The Hollywood Reporter. “It is igniting a recovery.”