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.

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.

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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.

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