Monster weekend for ‘Godzilla vs Kong’ raises hopes for Hollywood

Warner Bros. scored the biggest U.S. box office success of the pandemic with Godzilla vs. Kong, which sold $ 48.5 million in tickets when it debuted over the Easter break – an encouraging sign for Hollywood looking to revive its business after a year of slump.

Hollywood executives had hoped the franchise film, in which the oversized sea monster battles the giant ape, could fetch between $ 20 million and $ 30 million. Godzilla vs. Kong grossed $ 32 million over the weekend and $ 48.5 million during the extended five-day Easter holiday.

The best results suggest there is pent-up demand for the big-budget action movies that movie studios have largely kept from releasing during the pandemic.

More than 90 percent of U.S. theaters have reopened, according to Warner Bros., despite operating at reduced capacity to meet social distancing guidelines.

Godzilla easily beat other pandemic era films, such as Christopher Nolan Principle, which won $ 20 million on its first weekend in September, when theaters in New York and Los Angeles remained closed and with little hope of a Covid-19 vaccine in sight.

But the returns of the film remain very far from the money brought before the coronavirus interrupts filming. Disney Pixar Movie Forward won $ 90 million at the domestic box office over the weekend of March 6-8, 2020, just before the virus took hold in the United States. During the President’s Day weekend on February 14 last year, Paramount’s Sonic the hedgehog won $ 164 million.

Legendary Entertainment distributes Godzilla vs. Kong in China, where it debuted with a $ 70 million stake last weekend. While cinemas in the United States and Europe have remained largely empty so far, the Chinese box office has rebounded sharply as movie attendance returned to near normal levels.

The success of Godzilla vs. Kong It’s a victory for Hollywood movie chains and studios, which lost billions of dollars last year, leading to bankruptcy of theater operator Alamo Drafthouse.

It also gives assurance that crowds will still go to theaters to watch movies even if they are available online, as more and more Hollywood conglomerates are using movies to attract subscribers to their streaming services. Godzilla vs. Kong was available to watch on Warner’s HBO Max streaming service starting Wednesday.

In a move that infuriated some filmmakers last year, Warner Bros. decided to release all 2021 movies on HBO Max the same day, they debuted in theaters.

Nolan criticized the move, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “Our industry’s greatest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before they thought they were working for the biggest movie studio and woke up. to find out they were working for the worst streaming service. “

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