‘Godzilla vs Kong’ sets Covid-19 pandemic record with US$48.5m debut (VIDEO)

screenmixApril 4, 2021
The results for Godzilla vs Kong are especially impressive because the film is also available to HBO Max subscribers for no extra fee. — Screen capture via YouTube/Warner Bros Pictures
The results for Godzilla vs Kong are especially impressive because the film is also available to HBO Max subscribers for no extra fee. — Screen capture via YouTube/Warner Bros Pictures

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LOS ANGELES, April 5 — Godzilla vs Kong muscled its way to a pandemic-era box office record, giving Hollywood studios and theatre owners alike hope that people are ready to return to the movies after a year of watching Netflix at home.

The tentpole, from Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment, generated US$32 million (RM132.4) over the weekend and US$48.5 million in its first five days of release. That’s easily the biggest debut since coronavirus hit. Prior to this weekend, Wonder Woman 1984 had the biggest three-day start with US$16.7 million, followed by Tom and Jerry with US$14 million.

The results for Godzilla vs Kong are especially impressive because the film is also available to HBO Max subscribers for no extra fee. It’s unclear how many people have streamed the movie.

David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, called opening weekend ticket sales “strong” given the “still-difficult conditions.” More than 50 per cent of movie theatres in the country have reopened, but many — including those in New York City and Los Angeles — have been operating at reduced capacity to comply with pandemic safety protocols.

“While it’s half of what it would be under normal circumstances, the weekend is a clear and positive indication that moviegoing has inherent strengths that aren’t going away,” he said.

Though ticket sales for Godzilla vs Kong are certainly encouraging, the US box office has yet to fully recover from the yearlong shutdown.

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Godzilla vs Kong wasn’t this weekend’s only new release. Sony Pictures’ horror film The Unholy pulled in US$3.2 million from 1,850 locations, a modest start for the low-budget movie. It narrowly beat out Universal’s action thriller Nobody for third place on box office charts. Nobody, starring Bob Odenkirk as a mild-mannered father-turned-vigilante, earned US$3 million in its second weekend, boosting its domestic tally to US$11.8 million.

In fourth, Disney’s animated adventure Raya and the Last Dragon made US$2 million from 2,031 locations. The film, which is also playing on Disney Plus for a premium US$30 fee, has grossed US$32 million at the domestic box office.

Tom and Jerry rounded out the top five, amassing US$1.5 million in its sixth weekend in theatres. To date, the movie has made US$39.5 million in the US It’s also available on HBO Max. — Variety vs Reuters

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