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Godzilla x Kong New Empire Roars to Huge $80M Box Office Opening

March 31, 20243 Mins Read

Enemies-turned-frenemies proved to be just what the Easter weekend box office needed.

Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire opened to a monstrous $80 million at the domestic box office, well ahead of an expected $45 million to $55 million. The tentpole scored the second-best opening in the MonsterVerse Universe, no small feat for a fifth film in a franchise. It also delivered the fifth biggest Easter opening of all time, according to Sunday estimates.

Globally, the film now has a chance of crossing the $175 million mark in its launch (it’s even doing well in China, where Legendary East is handling the movie). Through Friday, its early foreign tally was $47.1 million. Its opening day haul in China was $13.7 million, including previews. These days, many Hollywood films don’t even get to that level in China for the whole weekend.

Many critics didn’t think highly of Godzilla x Kong, but audiences disagreed, giving in an A- CinemaScore and 4.5 stars on PostTrack. It’s also playing to an ethnically diverse audience and all key age groups, another plus. In terms of gender, males are buying more than 67 percent of tickets, while 62 percent were ages 35 and under.

Adam Wingard returned to direct the tentpole, which stars Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Dan Stevens. This time around, the two mega-monsters actually decide to put aside their differences and face a mysterious force that threatens to destroy their planet.

Godzilla and Kong aren’t the only reason why WB and Legendary have reason to celebrate. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two crossed the $600 million mark at the worldwide box office on Friday, compared to $406 million globally for the first Dune.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire had no major competition to speak of, as Sony’s new Ghostbusters movie, which opened last weekend, fell 65 percent.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire placed No. 2 with $15.7 million for a domestic total of $73.5 million and a lackluster $108.5 million globally.

Dune II stayed squarely at No. 3 in its fifth outing despite losing most Imax and other premium screens to Godzilla x Kong (premium screens turned in a combined 48 percent of the opening weekend gross for Godzilla; motion 4D screens were a particular favorite).

Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 also remained a winner in its fourth outing, placing No. 4 with $10.2 million for a domestic tally of $151.7 million.

Neon’s Immaculate rounded out the top five on the domestic chart with $3.3 million its second weekend for a domestic cume of $11 million.

Among new offerings at the specialty box office, Sony Pictures Classics’ Wicked Little Letters, starring Olivia Colman, posted a solid per-theater average of $17,588 when launching in five cinemas.

More to come.

This story was originally published March 30 at 8:30 a.m.

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