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

The blockbuster monsterverse crossover took in $48.5 million over the holiday weekend, for a $10,509-per-screen average.

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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."

Warner Bros. Pictures

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.

Kenny Herzog

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Kenny Herzog is currently Digital Content Director at Entrepreneur Media. Previously, he has served as Editor in Chief or Managing Editor for several online and print publications, and contributed his byline to outlets including Rolling Stone, New York Magazine/Vulture, Esquire, The Ringer, Men's Health, TimeOut New York, A.V. Club, Men's Journal, Mic, Mel, Nylon and many more.