Godzilla vs. Kong’s $300 Million Box Office a Major Win for Theaters in Battle Against COVID-19

Ryan Stetz (HBO) / Ryan Stetz (HBO)

When two legendary movie monsters battled it out on the silver screen Easter weekend, they also defeated a few other unlikely foes: the pandemic and the predicted demise of movie theaters as we know them. Godzilla vs. Kong saw box office gains of $285.4 million globally and $48.5 million nationwide on the movie’s opening weekend.

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The Legendary and Warner Bros. production, which Hollywood Reporter called a “tentpole” for the studio, or a movie expected to “prop up” other less-successful flicks in terms of profitability, exceeded projections, Hollywood Reporter said.

The movie’s earnings of $32.2 million in three days from 3,064 theaters nationwide gave it the highest grossing opening weekend since the pandemic struck the states. “This is really significant. It is igniting a recovery,” Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution, told Hollywood Reporter.

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Hollywood Reporter noted that, while impressive, in normal times the flick’s earnings would be categorized as mediocre given the film’s $200 million budget. Its opening day numbers were bolstered by 10,000 private screenings, as well as a day and date release on HBO Max, Hollywood Reporter writes.

In November 2020, the future of the movie theater industry seemed uncertain. AMC saw a $905.8 million loss from July to September 2020, Backstage.com reported. The National Association of Theatre Owners said that U.S. cinemas reported losses of 70% or more in 2020, and many smaller chains, including the historic Alama Drafthouse, went bankrupt or closed locations.

Although only 55% of U.S. cinemas have reopened, according to Hollywood Reporter, Godzilla vs. Kong’s box office success bodes well for the future of movie theaters.

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“I think a big movie like this working should tell everyone if we are rational in how we release a title, there is an appetite for people to have a shared experience in theaters,” Joshua Grode, CEO of Legendary, told Hollywood Reporter.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

Godzilla vs. Kong’s $300 Million Box Office a Major Win for Theaters in Battle Against COVID-19
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