Box Office: 'Godzilla vs. Kong' Sets Pandemic Record With $48.5 Million Debut
By Rebecca Rubin
LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) - "Godzilla vs. Kong" muscled its way to a pandemic-era box office record. The movie, from Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment, generated $32 million over the weekend and $48.5 million in its first five days of release, cementing a new high water mark since U.S. theaters have reopened.
As the first box office smash in COVID times, "Godzilla vs. Kong" appears to be an indication that people are ready to return to the movies after a year of watching Netflix on the couch. The film is also available to HBO Max subscribers for no extra fee. It's unclear how many people streamed the movie at home.
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% of movie theaters 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.