‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Destroys Box Office, Signals Return of Movie Theater Business

After months of closures, layoffs and languishing returns, movie theaters were finally rescued from the pandemic by a fire-breathing reptile that once represented the consequences of nuclear war. (And his oversized ape friend, too.) Godzilla vs. Kong rampaged competition with a $48.5 million haul from more than 3,000 screens over its five-day opening weekend. The total is a resounding reassurance that, despite thousands of theaters still remaining shuttered and otherwise operating at limited capacity, the public has a ravenous appetite to resume its favorite in-person pastimes. Or as Boxoffice.com senior analyst Shawn Robbins put it to CNBC, “For anyone who may have doubted the pent-up demand for movie going, this performance is yet another sign of just how resilient the theatrical industry can be."
Related: AMC Offers a Personal Movie Theater Experience for $99
The monsterverse mega-smash’s success is even more impressive given that it’s been simultaneously streaming for free to all HBO Max subscribers since last Wednesday. Though in a possible sign of cinematic synergy to come, immediate social media buzz generated from viewers watching at home (plus surprisingly encouraging reviews) might have compelled other moviegoers eager to re-enter their local multiplexes.
But the beleaguered industry still has a ways to go. In second place behind Godzilla vs. Kong was horror debut The Unholy, with a total of $3.2 million.

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