The domestic box office roared back to life this week with “Godzilla vs Kong,” the latest installment to Warner Bros. Pictures’ monster franchise. Moviegoers flocked to theaters to see the iconic duo on the big screen and IMAX, even though the film was available to stream on HBO Max.
“Godzilla vs Kong” easily won the weekend with a $32M domestic debut. The movie opened a little early to take advantage of the holidays, and made $48.5M over its first five days in theaters. The total sets the record for highest-grossing opening weekend since the start of the health crisis, beating “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Tom and Jerry,” which didn’t break $17M during their opening weekends. Adam Wingard directed “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, and Demián Bichir.
To give the monster battle’s debut some perspective, we can look at the domestic opening weekends from the previous installments of the monsterverse. The 2014 movie “Godzilla” had a $93M opening in theaters, followed by “Kong: Skull Island” in 2017 with a $61M debut, and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” released in 2019 with a $47M opening weekend. “Kong: Skull Island” had the highest worldwide total with $566M, but “Godzilla” wasn’t far behind with $525M.
Sony Pictures took second-place on the domestic chart with “The Unholy,” which had a $3.2M opening across 1,850 locations. Evan Spiliotopoulos directed “The Unholy” for the studio, and the horror-thriller stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cricket Brown, and William Sadler.
The actioner “Nobody” took third-place overall with a $3M weekend, raising the film’s domestic total to $11.8M. Ilya Naishuller directed “Nobody,” which stars Bob Odenkirk, Aleksey Serebryakov, and Connie Nielsen. Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” dropped to fourth-place this week with a $2M weekend at 2,031 locations. The film’s domestic total now sits at $32M, and the film available to stream on Disney+. Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada directed “Raya and the Last Dragon,” starring Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Sandra Oh, Lucille Soong, and Alan Tudyk.
“Tom and Jerry” landed in fifth-place overall with a $1.5M weekend, raising the film’s domestic total to $39.5M. Tim Story directed “Tom and Jerry,” starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Michael Pena, Rob Delaney, Colin Jost, and Ken Jeong. The animated comedy is also available to stream on HBO Max.
The next big release is “Mortal Kombat,” which Warner Bros. Pictures delayed a week to April 23rd to give “Godzilla vs. Kong” another weekend alone at the box office. That project is a reboot of the franchise, which is based on the hit video game series.
photo credit: warner bros pictures