‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Dominates Box Office, but Sees a Big Drop Even Without Competition

After the very impressive start of “Godzilla vs. Kong” last weekend, the MonsterVerse hit grossed $13.38 million. That’s a big drop from its opening, but how big is a matter of perspective.

Overall, the weekend’s top 10 grossed around $24 million, with all films seeing about $26 million. That’s about 45 percent less than last weekend’s holiday total, but still second best for the year so far. It would have been nice to have another big, new title to build on last weekend’s success, but for now struggling theaters have holdovers.

At $69.5 million domestic over 12 days, it is now the top-grossing domestic release in over a year. Several factors make that even more impressive: HBO Max subscribers can watch “Godzilla vs. Kong” for free, a substantial number of theaters remain closed (including most of Canada), and a swath of the potential audience remains reluctant to enter confined spaces. It suggests the potential for better times as more top films are released, but for now grosses remain anemic overall. Attendance was about 25 percent of the same weekend two years ago.

The 58 percent drop for “Godzilla vs. Kong” comes by comparing the Friday-Sunday of its opening weekend. It’s clearly unfair to compare this weekend’s $13.38 million to its initial $48.5 million over five days; that would be a 72 percent drop. At the same time, had this opened on Friday, about half of the film’s initial two-day business would have gone to the weekend. On that basis, a 65 percent drop is probably more accurate.

Other top Easter openers include 2016’s “Batman v Superman,” which fell 69 percent, and two “Fast and Furious” entries, which each dropped about 60 percent. Unlike these releases, “Godzilla vs. Kong” had very little competition. It currently stands at $358 million worldwide in 39 territories ,with most of Europe not yet open.

Studio strategies remain focused on maximizing returns rather than rescuing theaters. For the rest of April, there’s Warners’ “Mortal Kombat” April 23 (with HBO Max); in May, there’s “Black Widow” and “Cruella” (both available on Disney Plus with a subscriber surcharge). Paramount again revised its release schedule, with the eagerly awaited “Top Gun: Maverick” delayed nearly six months from July 2 until Christmas among other changes.


Courtesy of Lionsgate

Nor are audiences so hungry for fresh theatrical titles that freshness alone will do. Lionsgate acquisition “Voyagers” starring Tye Sheridan and Colin Farrell managed $1.35 million for fifth place. Two holdovers, “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “The Girl Who Believed in Miracles,” increased from last weekend; others held well, with none falling as much as 30 percent.

“French Exit” is the top reported specialized gross with $151,000 in 493 theaters, for a per-theater gross of $306. Unlike most art-house offerings, this title is only in theaters. The annual Oscar shorts programs grossed  around $65,000 this weekend in 128 theaters. Last year, in 535 theaters, the total was $870,000. These are also available on VOD.

Also on VOD, with 51 theaters and some critical support, the South African gay-themed “Moffie” grossed $15,000, although initial home viewing reports suggest it gained some traction there.

Among Oscar-nominated features, only “Minari” looks to have done over $100,000 ($118,000 on 555 screens) for $2.6 million total. That’s along with unreported Premium VOD results.


Courtesy of IFC Films


The Top 10

1. Godzilla vs. Kong (Warner Bros.) Week 2; Last weekend #1; also available on HBO Max

$13,380,000 (-58%) in 3,084 theaters (+20); PTA: $4,339; Cumulative: $69,500,000

2. Nobody (Universal) Week 3; Last weekend #3

$2,650,000 (-11%) in 2,400 theaters (-167); PTA: $1,104; Cumulative: $15,630,000

3. The Unholy (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$2,400,000 (-24%) in 1,850 theaters (no change); PTA: $1,297; Cumulative: $6,732,000

4. Raya and the Last Dragon (Disney) Week 6; Last weekend #4; also available on Premium VOD

$2,140,000 (+5%) in 1,941 theaters (-90); PTA: $1,103; Cumulative: $35,240,000

5. Voyagers (Lionsgate) NEW – Cinemascore: C; Metacritic: 45; Est. budget: $29 million

$1,350,000 in 1,972 theaters ; PTA: $1,685; Cumulative: $1,350,000

6. Tom & Jerry (Warner Bros.) Week 7; Last weekend #5

$1,100,000 (-17%) in 1,826 theaters (-447); PTA: $608; Cumulative: $41,122,000

7. The Girl Who Believes in Miracles (Atlas) Week 2; Last weekend #6     640

$(est.) 575,000 (+5%) in 900 theaters (+260); PTA: $639; Cumulative: $(est.) 1,278,000

8. The Courier (Roadside Attractions) Week 4; Last weekend #7

$436,560 (-3%) in 1,007 theaters (-350); PTA: $433; Cumulative: $4,908,000

9. Vakeel Saab (Indin) NEW

$(est.) 420,000 in 285 theaters; PTA: $1,474; Cumulative: $(est.) 420,000

10. Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) Week 6; Last weekend #7; also available on Premium VOD

$265,000 (-28%) in 1,300 theaters (-305); PTA: $204; Cumulative: $12,675,000


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