Last weekend saw the box office hit a major milestone domestically, as for the first time in over a year the Top 5 movies in America all made more than $1 million in ticket sales. It's a positive sign that theaters are finally starting to make a comeback – and the arrival of Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong is apparently only going to enhance positivity surrounding the big screen experience.
The new blockbuster capstone film from Warner Bros.' MonsterVerse franchise has arrived both in theaters and on HBO Max this week, and the prognosticators at Deadline are saying that the movie will very likely become the biggest opening weekend hit since last March. It has the benefit of working with a five-day stretch instead of the standard three-day thanks to it coming out on a Wednesday, and that should allow Godzilla vs. Kong to make between $20-30 million by the end of Sunday.
What will be particularly interesting to examine in this case is how the viewership of Godzilla vs. Kong compares in theaters versus streaming on HBO Max. With all due respect to Tenet and Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984, one could make a strong argument that this monster battle-centric blockbuster demands the big screen experience more than any major studio release that has come out since the start of the pandemic. The fact that it's also available online with a subscription fee offers people a very convenient way to watch it at home, but one can imagine the lure of the multiplex and rising optimism resulting in a great number of tickets being sold. With the industry still totally unsure about how the two platforms can co-exist, there will be a lot of eyes watching the movie's performance.
In the last few weeks, business at theaters has been slowly getting better, really starting with Tim Story's Tom And Jerry in mid-February (another film that got a day-and-date release on HBO Max). That has been followed by successes like Walt Disney Animation's Raya And The Last Dragon – which got off to a slow start before showing real legs – and Ilya Naishuller's Nobody. With New York and Los Angeles now open at 25 percent and 50 percent capacity, respectively, there is hope that on Sunday we'll be reporting about the Top 6 films domestically making more than seven figures in domestic ticket sales.
Godzilla vs. Kong is now playing in theaters (and streaming on HBO Max), and thanks to an early release overseas has already made more than $123 million. We'll keep you apprised of its box office progress in the coming days, and to see what else is set to be released in the rest of the calendar year be sure to check out our 2021 Release Calendar.