The global movie industry has been grappling through the fog since the onset of the pandemic. Lucky for filmmakers in the United States, they have found a silver lining in the strong opening of Godzilla vs. Kong.
The film, produced by Warner Bros and Legendary Entertainment, centers on the rip-roaring face-off between film history’s most iconic monsters. It opened with the biggest ticket sales during the pandemic with $32 million over the weekend and $48.5 million on the first five days of its release. It outstripped Wonder Woman 1984, which earned $16.7 million on its first three days, and Tom and Jerry, which bagged $14 million.
While the numbers wouldn’t be impressive pre-pandemic, it has been keeping filmmakers and movie theater owners hepped up given that only around 50% of movie theaters are operating in the U.S.—not to mention at reduced capacity.
In a report by Reuters, David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, described the opening weekend ticket sales as “strong” given the “still-difficult conditions.”
“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.
Meanwhile, Joshua Grode, head of Legendary Entertainment, thinks that the early success of the movie shows that people are still likely to watch films inside theatres.
“This tells everybody: the moviegoing business is here, and, yes, it may be different post-pandemic,” he said. “But there is a viable industry there.”
Godzilla vs. Kong is also available for streaming in the U.S. through HBO Max with no additional fee.