LOS ANGELES • Godzilla Vs Kong muscled its way to a pandemic-era box-office record, giving Hollywood studios and theatre owners alike hope that people are ready to return to the movies after a year of watching Netflix at home.
The tentpole film, from Warner Bros and Legendary Entertainment, generated US$32 million (S$43.1 million) over the weekend and US$48.5 million in its first five days of release.
It is easily the biggest debut since the coronavirus hit. Prior to this weekend, Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) had the biggest three-day start with US$16.7 million, followed by Tom And Jerry (2021) with US$14 million.
The results for Godzilla Vs Kong are especially impressive because the film is also available to HBO Max subscribers for no extra fee. It is unclear how many have streamed the movie.
Mr David Gross, who runs movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, called opening-weekend ticket sales "strong" given the "still-difficult conditions".
More than half of the cinemas in the United States have reopened, but many have been operating at reduced capacity to comply with pandemic safety protocols.
"While it's half of what it would be under normal circumstances, the weekend is a clear and positive indication that moviegoing has inherent strengths that aren't going away," he said.