‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ Makes Resounding $80m Debut at the Box Office

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According to studio estimates released on Sunday, “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” surpassed expectations by grossing $80 million in its opening weekend across 3,861 screens in North America.

This collaboration between Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, featuring Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry, marked the second-highest opening of the year, falling just shy of the $81.5 million debut of “Dune: Part 2.”

Initial forecasts had anticipated the film’s opening weekend to be around $50 million.

Mary Parent, Legendary’s chairman of worldwide production, attributed the success to the film’s cinematic spectacle and the innovative portrayal of iconic characters, with Godzilla and King Kong teaming up rather than facing off. She said, “It’s a cinematic event, and we’re seeing these iconic characters doing things we’ve never seen them do before”.

She highlighted the film’s immersive experience, featuring extended sequences without dialogue that immerse viewers alongside the characters in a mythic journey. “There’s big swaths of the film that don’t have any dialogue, where we put you with the characters, it’s a very mythic experience.”

In contrast to the recent film, “Godzilla vs. Kong” from Warner Bros. and Legendary in 2021 had a notably smaller opening weekend of $48.5 million. However, given the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and the simultaneous release on HBO Max, it still represented a significant achievement, foreshadowing the potential success of future collaborations between the two iconic monsters.

The latest installment ranked as the second-highest opening in the broader MonsterVerse franchise of the studios. In 2014, “Godzilla” garnered $93.2 million, emerging as the top-grossing film in the creature’s extensive cinematic legacy spanning nearly seven decades, primarily rooted in Japan. Its North American earnings surpassed $200 million, with a global haul exceeding $500 million.

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“Godzilla x Kong” arrives only four months after the latest Japanese interpretation, the critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning “Godzilla Minus One.”

Melisa Enoch

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