There were a lot of people who thought that Warner Bros. releasing their entire 2021 slate of movies on HBO Max the same day they hit theaters could signal the death knell for a theatrical industry crippled by the Coronavirus pandemic, but if anything, the studio’s hybrid debutants have been performing incredibly well in cinemas despite being available to stream from day one.
The two highest domestic opening weekends of the COVID-19 era belong to Wonder Woman 1984 and Tom and Jerry, both of which premiered on HBO Max the same day they landed on the silver screen, while the biggest three-day opening for an R-rated movie went to Denzel Washington’s The Little Things, which also scored a simultaneous release.
That means there are clearly audiences more than happy to head out to their local multiplex despite having these titles available at the push of a button from the comfort of their own homes, and Godzilla vs. Kong is comfortably on track to smash all the previous benchmarks set over the last twelve months.
The next chapter in the MonsterVerse is tracking well ahead of Wonder Woman 1984 at the same stage, with analysts predicting that it could potentially score up to $40 million throughout the movie’s first five days in theaters, easily surpassing the $16.7 million brought in by Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s DCEU sequel.
It’s hardly a return to normality, but the fact that no film has even come close to sniffing $20 million over the last year, never mind $35-$40 million is hugely encouraging in itself. And should Godzilla vs. Kong also play well in China as expected, then we’re easily looking at the most successful Hollywood production since Tenet hauled in $363 million last summer.