Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla Vs. Kong earned an additional $24.1 million overseas this weekend, including $12.4 million in China, to bring its overseas cume to $288.3 million and its global total to $357.8 million (including $32.5 million in IMAX alone). Its $69.5 million domestic gross is already past Tenet’s $58.5 million cume, and it’s about to pass the $363 million worldwide total (including $305 million overseas) of Tenet as well to become the biggest Covid-era Hollywood grosser yet. Heck, save for China’s homegrown blockbusters, Godzilla Vs. Kong is behind only Bad Boys for Life ($428 million) among all releases in 2021 and 2020.
Speaking of China, it has earned $165 million in 17 days, pushing it past Captain Marvel ($155 million) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($135 million) among the 2019 biggies. It won’t get to Spider-Man: Far from Home or Hobbs & Shaw, both of which earned $200 million in 2019. it will pass Kong: Skull Island ($168 million in 2017) to be China’s biggest MonsterVerse flick thus far in unadjusted grosses. If it gets past the $181 million gross of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, it’ll be the biggest non-Marvel/non-DC and non-Fast Saga Hollywood flick since Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($267 million) in mid-2018.
Its current $357 million global gross is already 2.16x its reported $165 million budget, and Warner Bros. is already in the black for its share thanks to a brisk-and-brief marketing campaign (we didn’t get a trailer until mid-January) and robust overseas numbers. At a glance, we’re probably looking at a global finish of around $425-$435 million plus whatever it earns in territories yet to play. Just that would put it over/under Bad Boys for Life ($428 million) and My People My Homeland ($430 million) among last year’s biggest global grossers. Whether it breaks out yet-to-open marketplaces will determine if it passes $500 million.
Of the territories in which it hasn’t opened, Kong: Skull Island earned $12 million in France and $17 million in Japan, while Godzilla earned $12 million in France and $30 million in Japan but Godzilla: King of the Monsters earned $6 million in France and $27 million in Japan. No, I’m not expecting Lithuania or Bulgaria to break box office records. Barring a massive over-performance, and not considering non-theatrical releases or worsening Covid conditions, we’re probably looking at an extra $60 million from un-opened territories. If it pulls a Frozen in Japan well, Frozen grossed $267 million in 2014, so that’s around $727 million worldwide.
Obviously, that’s just fun with math. Barring a fluke in either direction, it’s likely to end its global run with between $430 million and $500 million worldwide. So, yes, it’s going to top Godzilla ($372 million in 1998) Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($390 million in 2019) and will likely pass Rampage ($430 million in 2018) and The Eight Hundred (last year’s top global grosser with $471 million). If it surges here and there, it’ll flirt with the over/under $530 million totals of Godzilla and The Meg or maybe even the $555 million and $569 million cumes of King Kong and Skull Island, but that’s a stretch.
That consumers like this movie does point toward a continuation for the MonsterVerse, although what form that should/will take is an open question. Can you do a Hobbs & Shaw-style team-up movie with a Godzilla and King Kong who can’t talk? Can Legendary pay the Kadokawa Corporation to let Gamera come out and play? That it’s doing about as well as would have been expected in non-Covid times (sans HBO Max and Covid variables but amid a crowded tentpole-centric slate sans the “first biggie of the moment” hook) is a sign that something resembling theatrical recovery, at least for tentpoles, is possible.