Did you think that movie theaters were dead? Not so fast.
Godzilla vs. Kong is demonstrating that there’s still plenty of life left in the cinema industry, absolutely destroying all expectations with a $48.5 million domestic opening in its first five days of release ($32 million for the weekend).
That’s astronomically better than Wonder Woman 1984’s three-day total of $16.7 million, proving that when theaters are opening back up, audiences are going to be there to occupy them. Godzilla vs. Kong opened in 3,064 North American theaters, the widest number since the pandemic began.
The film is a big hit internationally as well, where it opened last weekend and is currently at a global total of $285 million.
What’s most telling is that Adam Wingard’s big monster smash ‘em up made such impressive figures during a pandemic with theaters still under restrictions for occupancy, and it did it while being available for people to watch at home streaming on HBO Max.
These numbers are certainly encouraging to studios, perhaps quelling the fear that having more at-home options for viewers would make them reluctant to go see a movie at the cinema on the biggest screen possible. If Godzilla vs. Kong is proving one thing it’s that people still want to be going to the movies.
With the release calendar remaining light on tentpole offerings like this film, chances are Godzilla vs. Kong is in for a steady success rate at the box-office, paving the way for other major releases coming down the pike, including Cruella (May 28), In the Heights (June 11), F9 (June 25), and of course Black Widow (July 9).
Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock certainly sees reason for optimism, stating, “This is a great sign that the release calendar will stabilize and audiences everywhere will have a bonafide summer of blockbusters. With vaccinations being dished out at a record pace and social distancing protocols still in place, we should see a nice ramp up into summer cinema.”
With some of those movies also planning day-and-date streaming releases alongside their theatrical debuts, it will be very interesting keeping an eye on how these films continue to perform as the COVID pandemic enters this new phase.