Adam Wingard’s Godzilla Vs. Kong is great fun, but more than that, it’s actually the first movie in a year to actually make what looks like it’ll be decent money at the U.S. box office. It took the top spot on the charts this weekend, because you should expect nothing less from a movie about the king of the monsters and a gorilla whose first name is literally “King,” but the definitiveness with which it took that top spot is worth underlining: The movie made $11.6 million this weekend, and if you throw in the money it made earlier in the week, it’s already sitting at nearly $28 million. That’s already almost half of the domestic gross of The Croods: A New Age, which has been the most successful film of the pandemic up until now and has made $56 million after 19 weeks on the charts.
Godzilla Vs. Kong is also making a ton of money overseas, with Variety reporting that it’s almost at $50 million after this first weekend, and though WarnerMedia won’t say exactly how it’s doing on HBO Max, its day-and-date streaming release apparently earned a “larger viewing audience than any other film or show on HBO Max since launch.” We’ve pointed this out before, but as unpopular as Warner’s decision to dump all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max was with some specific filmmakers, the scheme really does seem to be working. The U.S. box office is still a disaster, so they’re not making truckloads of money, but nearly all of them have debuted at the top of the charts and—if you trust HBO Max on this—Godzilla Vs. Kong has debuted to good streaming numbers as well. (The larger impact from this decision will probably have more to do with whether or not Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve choose to keep working with WB, but like the apocalyptic war in Tenet, that’s a future-problem and not a now-problem.)
Anyway, there were other movies on the box office charts this weekend, but none of them were particularly enormous. Horror film The Unholy made $3.2 million, just a hair over last week’s winner Nobody (which expanded its theatrical rollout by 107, which is a good sign!). Disney’s Raya And The Last Dragon dropped a lot, down to $2 million, but it’s already made $32 million for Mickey Mouse and his friends (not counting however much money it made from its Premier Access launch on Disney+, which Disney will surely never discuss ever). Rounding out the top five is Tom And Jerry, the last HBO Max simultaneous release, which hung on for $1.4 million (it has made $39 million, so Raya might not even be able to pass it at this rate).
For a more detailed breakdown of the weekend’s box office numbers, take the shortcut through Hollow Earth to Box Office Mojo.