Despite multiple countries still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a handful staring down the barrel of a fourth wave because of the increased variants (alongside folks ignoring medical recommendations), the international box office seems to be returning in some markets.
Legendary’s Godzilla vs Kong made a big splash when it’s first trailer dropped and the marketing campaign has seemingly resonated with audiences that had been previously lukewarm about previous installments like Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of The Monsters.
Will this equate into a huge box office hit?
Well, internationally that seems to be the case and is becoming the biggest debut since the pandemic started. Deadline is reporting that after the film had a spectacular Friday opening of $21.1 million in China it seems to be lumbering towards an estimated haul of $70.4 million in the Middle Kingdom. This means the kaiju showdown is expected to cross $100+ million opening weekend internationally and has surpassed the Chinese opening of Godzilla: King of The Monsters. It’s worth mentioning that foreign movies don’t tend to stick around very long in the Chinese market compared to their local releases and the studio hopes to make hay as long as they can.
UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter adds that the intentional estimate is now $121.8 million.
Godzilla vs Kong won’t be debuting domestically until March 31.
However, WarnerMedia is offering the film free for a month on HBO Max which will certainly have an impact on domestic box office earnings. While there has been positive estimates, we’ll have to wait and see if folks will be piling into indoor theaters as a fourth wave of COVID-19 looms or will opt for the free alternative available on HBO Max with a subscription.
Bob Odenkirk’s action flick Nobody took the top spot this weekend domestically with $6.7 million which is good for a movie budgeted at $16 million. This isn’t exactly the sign of box office strength you want to see with Godzilla vs Kong’s release on the horizon later in the week.
With a budget of $165 million, Godzilla vs Kong will need to continue to be successful overseas to turn a profit when movies like Wonder Woman 1984 were reportedly said to take $100 million loss. The hybrid release model from WarnerMedia has yet to be seen as box office benefit to the Warner Bros. division, but we’ll see if this changes with films such as Godzilla vs Kong.