The decision made by Warner Bros. to release the entire slate of 2021 theatrical releases on HBO Max the same day they came to theaters opened up a contentious can of worms, one that culminated in the studio’s golden goose Christopher Nolan upping sticks and heading to pastures new for the first time in over 20 years.
As a result, the majority of WB’s hybrid debutants have struggled significantly at the box office, with Godzilla vs. Kong, Dune and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It the only three to have passed $200 million globally, while many others including The Suicide Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Reminiscence, Malignant, Cry Macho and King Richard bombed hard.
Right in the middle is the Mortal Kombat reboot, which earned a solid $83 million from theaters and went down a storm with fans, while new data indicates that it was the most-watched day-and-date feature of 2021. HBO Max doesn’t reveal official viewership data, but third-party aggregator Samba TV has put together a fairly clear picture.
The R-rated fantasy actioner drew in 3.8 million customers with Samba-equipped televisions during its first three days on the platform, ahead of Godzilla vs. Kong‘s 3.6 million, and the 2.8 million shared by The Suicide Squad and The Matrix Resurrections. Even though Mortal Kombat was described as a top asset by a WarnerMedia executive, we’re still waiting on confirmation of a sequel.