Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Hollywood has closely watched any film that could provide information about the possible rebirth or demise of the film industry after the pandemic has subsided.
Hollywood could finally have that movie. It stars a radioactive lizard and a giant ape who fight for about an hour and 53 minutes. "Godzilla vs Kong ' film by Warner Bros. hit US theaters on Wednesday. The film, which also airs on HBO Max, is expected to earn more than $ 20 million over the holiday weekend.
That would be a pretty lackluster result in recent times, but it's enough to make the film a potentially monstrous hit, with one of the biggest box office releases of the pandemic. And with the pace of vaccines picking up, more major movies returning to studio hours, and increasing in-person attendance at movie theaters, the movie could herald better times for the troubled theater industry.
"‘ Godzilla vs Kong ' film is important both financially and symbolically to a film industry that has been shaken to the core by the pandemic, ”Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore's senior media analyst, told CNN Business. "This weekend's debut provides a real-time opportunity to gauge consumer enthusiasm for a movie that truly guarantees a big-screen experience while being available at home with just a click and a subscription."
For Warner Bros., "Godzilla vs Kong ”already seems like a success.
The film opened last week in China, the world's leading film market, and made a powerful debut there earning approximately $ 70 million.
It has already made more than $ 120 million at the global box office, a great performance considering that the last film in the Warner Bros. "MonsterVerse" series was "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," which made $ 394 million in all. the world in 2019, according to Comscore (SCOR).
And that was before the Pandemic.
The film's strong start in China can be seen as great news for US theater owners, who have struggled to find audiences to fill seats for more than a year.
Films like "Tenet," "The Croods: A New Age," and "Tom & Jerry" were notable releases in the past year, but have produced mixed results at a box office disrupted by the pandemic. "Godzilla vs Kong ' film arriving just as the tide seems to be turning for people who go to movies. "Hollywood needs more good movies in theaters if it is to cultivate a renaissance," according to Jeff Bock, a senior analyst at entertainment research firm Exhibitor Relations.
"The return to form is a catch-22 for the industry, as none of the big-budget launches thus far have met the studio's expectations in terms of overall gross revenue," said Bock. “To resonate with the general public, the film industry needs blockbuster content. Pure and simple ».
Warner Bros is in a "unique situation" as it is releasing movies in theaters and streaming platforms, he added because it helps "not only with the theatrical display but with its own growth in streaming." The company announced in December that all of its 2021 movies would open in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously.
"The monstrous opening in China last weekend certainly helped engage potential audiences and helped continue to build a buzz in North America, where theaters have been open but struggling," added Bock. "With another great opening weekend, it will be a clear signal to the studios that audiences will not only feel safe returning to theaters but will also support the large offerings this summer."