Surprising movie analysts, Warner Bros. “Godzilla vs. Kong” scored an unexpectedly strong box-office result: $48.5 million over the recent five-day weekend, says IMDb's Box Office Mojo.
This was the biggest opening for a theatrical movie since the pandemic began in mid-March 2020. Previously, the best result during this period was for Warner Bros.' “Tenet” -- scoring $28.3 million on Labor Day weekend, September 2020.
“Godzilla v. Kong” performed well against still-limited U.S. theater seating, as well as simultaneous availability of the movie on the HBO Max streaming service.
Internationally, “Godzilla vs. Kong” earned $236.9 million over its five-day opening period.
Still, analysts don't think the theatrical movie business has returned to normal.
Projections for a movie of this type -- a “tentpole” release with major theatrical distribution in 3,064 theaters, and a decent TV advertising spend -- would most likely have produced double the box-office dollars in more normal, pre-pandemic times.
The film was helped by more recent U.S. theater openings and easing of occupancy restrictions. New York City -- and more recently California, particularly Los Angeles -- have seen growing availability, even as theaters are limited to 25% capacity.
Over the last two weeks, Warner Bros. spent an estimated $6.8 million on national TV advertising -- with a total of 1,611 airings of commercial messaging, according to iSpot.tv.
Since the beginning of its marketing campaign back in January, Warner Bros. estimated a total spend of $15.8 million, totaling 1.1 billion impressions.
Warner Bros. has placed much national TV advertising through sports -- for college basketball, including the NCAA March Madness Tournament, as well as NBA basketball and NFL Football.
Top networks for “Godzilla v. Kong” commercials include CBS, ABC, Fox, NBC, and WarnerMedia sister TV networks, TBS and TNT.