The highest-grossing Hollywood movie to have been released since the start of last year is Bad Boys For Life, which had the benefit of arriving in the third week of January, giving it plenty of time to rack up $426 million at the box office before the Coronavirus pandemic came along and brought the industry to its knees.
The biggest-earning American blockbuster to have debuted since the onset of COVID-19, meanwhile, is Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which topped out at $363 million, but the international box office has rebounded a lot faster and stronger than domestic business. In fact, since last summer, four Chinese films have earned at least $400 million, with two of them hauling in $680 million and $783 million respectively, proving that things are fast returning to normal in the country.
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That’s good news for Godzilla vs. Kong, which is being predicted to smash almost every conceivable pandemic-era record when it releases overseas this weekend, for a Hollywood production at least. King of the Monsters and Skull Island made $135 million and $168 million in China, with Adam Wingard’s upcoming clash of the Titans debuting in 38 foreign markets and virtually guaranteed to set a record for the biggest international debut of the past twelve months, with the most conservative of estimates predicting a $70 million international bow.
In even better news, theaters in Los Angeles and New York have finally started reopening, so Wonder Woman 1984‘s domestic pandemic-era high of a $16.7 million opening weekend is poised to be shattered next week. Slowly but surely the theatrical industry is starting to emerge from the doldrums, and all it looks to have taken is two gigantic monsters beating the absolute sh*t out of each other in the broad, effects-driven Godzilla vs. Kong for it to happen.