Perhaps individually, neither Godzilla nor King Kong could have given theaters their biggest hits in over a year. But together, the two most iconic movie monsters did just that. Godzilla vs. Kong not only served as the culmination of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ “MonsterVerse.” But did “Godzilla vs. Kong” also lengthen the life of the moviegoing experience?
“Godzilla vs. Kong” trailer left fans eager for monster action
The way to “Godzilla vs. Kong” began with 2014’s “Godzilla,” director Gareth Edwards’ film that was only the second Hollywood production featuring the giant lizard and introduced the public to a new version of Godzilla. And the 2017 film Kong: Skull Island also revived King Kong for modern audiences. Godzilla and Kong had not been released in an American version since 1998 and 2005, respectively.
Among fans of the MonsterVerse, Godzilla vs. Kong had a similar appeal as Marvel’s The Avengers. The initial trailer release hinted that the film could be bigger than previously thought. The first full trailer, released on Jan. 25, 2021, became Warner Bros.’ biggest debut ever with 25.6 million views in the first 24 hours, according to Screen Rant. But the real surprise was yet to come.
Why “Godzilla vs. Kong” has fewer human scenes than previous Monsterverse films.
But the MonsterVerse Crossover Was Bigger Than Anyone Expected
According to Deadline, Godzilla vs. Kong outperformed Wonder Woman 1984’s viewership on HBO Max in its first week. While the superhero sequel drew 2.2 million households in December 2020, the monster mash-up brought in 3.6 million households in its first five days. Both films played simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.
In addition, Godzilla vs. Kong also set a new box office record. The film grossed $48.1 million in its first week of release, by far the highest for a theatrical release since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With only 55 percent of theaters open in the United States and Canada, that number would have been much higher under different circumstances.
Although Godzilla vs. Kong does not carry a post-credits scene, its box office performance bodes well for the future of the MonsterVerse. Director Adam Wingard told Dread Central that the franchise was at a “crossroads.” Now a Godzilla vs. Kong sequel seems entirely possible, though no official announcements have been made.
Weekend Box Office Estimates: #GodzillaVsKong $32.2M; #TheUnholyMovie $3.2M; #NobodyMovie $3.1M https://t.co/g96CCkG9ce pic.twitter.com/MntolFpsDe
– Box Office Mojo (@boxofficemojo) April 4, 2021
‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ screenwriter reveals third monster was to appear in earlier film
HBO Max’s ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ launch may inspire a new release model.
On one hand, the promise of two iconic kaiju facing off was incentive enough to lure wary audiences back to theaters. But the streaming success of “Godzilla vs. Kong” could also pave the way for an entirely new way to watch movies.
In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, studios considered whether to stream their upcoming films or delay the theatrical release. Warner Bros. finally said “why not do both?” and offered to try something completely different.
Starting with Wonder Woman in 1984, the studio committed to releasing even its biggest films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. Godzilla vs. Kong proved not only the value of the theatrical experience, but also of giving consumers options. So fans can probably expect this dual approach to become increasingly popular.