BoxOffice, Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire, Legendary, News, Warner Bros.

‘Godzilla x Kong’ Will Bunny Hop To $135M Global Opening As Legendary’s Monsterverse Franchise Roars Past $2 Billion – Easter Box Office Preview

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Nothing says Easter tentpole quite like Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire which is set to conquer the world with a box office debut around $135M, bolstered by 63 foreign markets and 3,850 theaters stateside.

Warner Bros had great fortune in releasing the Legendary IP during Easter 2021 with Godzilla vs. Kong, luring audiences back to moviegoing after a year’s Covid quarantine, and the studio opted to stick to that frame. Godzilla vs. Kong made $48M in a stateside five-day launch, day-and-date with a drop on HBO Max at the time. If these domestic figures for New Empire hold up, it will rep the third stateside opening for the Monsterverse at the domestic B.O. after 2014’s Godzilla ($93.1M) and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island ($61M). Previews in U.S. and Canada start at 3PM Thursday and New Empire will have all the nuclear powers of premium ticket upcharges, i.e. Imax, PLF, 4DX, ScreenX, DBox, etc. Legendary/Warner Bros other hit movie will retain some Imax screens over the holiday weekend.

The movie cost before P&A a net of $135M, 75% funded by Legendary with Warner Bros covering 25%.

Filmmaker Adam Wingard’s second Godzilla movie after the 2021 edition begins its overseas rollout on Wednesday with such majors as Spain and Korea before adding Italy, Australia and all of Latin America on Thursday. On Friday, the UK and China join the fray.

The international launch is eyed in the $80M-$85M range, while domestic is around $50M per current presales. Godzilla vs Kong debuted to $105M in like-for-like overseas markets at today’s rates (including $63M from China, also at today’s exchange). So why is this one looking at a potentially softer opening? There are a number of factors.

When it released in March 2021, GvK bagged the then-biggest overseas debut of a Hollywood title during the pandemic, and in just 38 international box office markets.

That movie had a particularly good start in China (where Legendary markets and distributes its modern monster series). But times have changed, and caution prevails as Hollywood films are doing far less business in the Middle Kingdom. GxK is currently leading advance ticket sales heading into the weekend, but it remains to be seen if a start around $40M is feasible.

Here are some China opening comps in restated dollars: Kong: Skull Island ($68M), Godzilla Vs Kong ($63M), Meg 2 ($53M), Aquaman 2 ($31M) and Dune 2 ($20M) – that paints a picture.

We still expect GxK to excel in Asia (though in Korea it will likely land at No. 3 behind juggernaut Exhuma and a new local title) as well as in Latin America. Europe can be mixed on the franchise.

Also important to recall: At the time of GvK in 2021, there were still capacity restrictions in some areas — the European majors, save Spain, were closed. So, when factoring in the Euro markets that are going this time around on GxK, we’re looking at release dates that were historically not in line. 

And, it’s worth noting that when GvK debuted in certain pockets back then, it was the sole movie playing which impacted some of the bows. Today, there is more competition. 

Notably not in this suite are France and Germany (as well as other French-speaking and German-speaking markets) and the Middle East (which is currently in the Ramadan period); Japan will also go later, on April 26.

Meanwhile, in the states, expect Sony’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire to drop -65% for around $15M. The Gil Kenan directed sequel made $2.8M last night raising its running domestic total to over $47M.

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