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Thursday, September 16, 2021
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‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ Plunges 67% But Tops $60 Million

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Godzilla Vs. Kong held better on its second Friday than Godzilla and King of the Monsters.

Godzilla Vs. Kong earned an additional $3.88 million at the domestic box office, dropping 67% from its initial $11.6 million Friday gross. The size of the drop is partially due to last Friday being Good Friday, the Adam Wingard-directed MonsterVerse sequel also opened on a Wednesday. That said, the film still passed $60 million domestic yesterday, topping Tenet ($58 million) and becoming the biggest Covid-era domestic earner. Of note, four out of the five top domestic grossers of this grim era (Tom & Jerry, Wonder Woman 1984, Tenet and Godzilla Vs. Kong) are Warner Bros. releases. It should gross over/under $14 million (-56%) for the second weekend for an over/under $70 million 12-day domestic total.

Barring a fluke in either direction, it’s looking like a domestic finish of over/under $92 million, although WB may keep it around to push it to $100 million if it gets close. It should end Sunday just over/under The Invisible Man ($70.4 million) and above both Call of the Wild ($62 million) and Onward ($61 million). That will make it, thus far, the fifth-biggest domestic earner of 2021 and 2020 behind Doctor Dolittle ($77 million), Birds of Prey ($83 million), Sonic the Hedgehog ($146 million) and Bad Boys for Life ($204 million). The 67% Friday drop is actually a better hold than the 77% Friday drops for Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla and Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

it’s actually close to the over/under 65% drops for Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla (which opened on a Wednesday over Memorial Day weekend), Kong: Skull Island (which legged out to 2.8x its $60 million Fri-Sun debut in 2017) and The Meg (which legged out to 3.2x its $45.4 million debut in 2018). This despite (or because) of pandemic variables and the film co-existing (for the next few weeks) on HBO Max, but it’s still doing about what I might have expected had it opened in non-Covid times but amid a conventionally crowded slate and sans the “first tentpole of the Covid vaccine era” factor. Again, that it’s playing about as would have been expected is incredibly promising for the overall theatrical industry.

Moreover, Warner Bros., which bought out the movie from Legendary after the latter wanted to sell it to Netflix, is already in the black for the $165 million flick. That’s thanks to a tighter marketing budget (we didn’t get a first trailer until mid-January) and robust overseas business. The film has earned $161 million in 16 days in China, zooming past Captain Marvel ($154 million) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($135 million) among big 2019 Hollywood releases. It’ll earn around $12.5 million (-67%) in weekend three in China, giving it an over/under $165 million cume just below the $168 million cume for Skull Island. However, audiences here and abroad like this one, so this isn’t a “saved by China” tentpole.

I don’t have exact worldwide estimates, but it will have earned 2.4x its $69 million opening weekend in China by Sunday. If that figure matches the rest of the overseas marketplace, then it will have around $294 million overseas by tomorrow, with a $70 million domestic cume giving it a $364 million global cume. That’ll put it just over Warner Bros.’ Tenet (which earned $58 million domestic, $305 million overseas and $363 million global in much more challenging conditions) to be the second-biggest Hollywood release of 2020 and 2021 behind Bad Boys for Life ($428 million). So, yes, it’s going to top Godzilla ($372 million in 1998) Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($390 million in 2019) and will likely pass Rampage ($430 million in 2018).

Of the territories in which it still hasn’t opened, Kong: Skull Island earned $12 million in France and $17 million in Japan, while Godzilla earned $12 million in France and $30 million in Japan but Godzilla: King of the Monsters earned $6 million in France and $27 million in Japan. No, I’m not expecting Lithuania or Bulgaria to break box office records. Barring a massive overperformance, and not considering non-theatrical releases or worsening Covid conditions, we’re probably looking at an extra $60 million from un-opened territories. If it pulls a Frozen or a Maleficent in Japan, that’s a different story. Otherwise, it’s likely to end its global run with between $430 million and $500 million worldwide.

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