‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ achieves a box office debut of $80 million

LOS ANGELES – The Godzilla-King Kong mashup surpassed expectations when “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” grossed $80 million in its debut on 3,861 North American screens, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The monster merger of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, starring Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry, generated the second-biggest opening in what has been a solid year, just behind the debut of “Dune: Part 2,” which grossed $81. .5 million dollars.

Projections had estimated that the opening weekend of “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” in which the monsters team up instead of clash, would approach $50 million.

“It’s a cinematic event and we’re seeing these iconic characters doing things we’ve never seen them do before,” said Mary Parent, president of worldwide production at Legendary. “There are large parts of the film that do not have any dialogue, where we put you with the characters, it is a very mythical experience.”

Last week’s No. 1 box office hit, “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” came in second with $15.7 million for a two-week total of $73.4 million.

“Dune: Part Two” remained strong in its fifth week, falling to third place with a gross of $11.1 million and a domestic total of $252.4 million.

“It was a really big number all things considered,” Parent said.

“Godzilla x Kong” arrives just four months after the most recent Japanese interpretation, the critical favorite and Oscar-winning “Godzilla Minus One.”

But there was clearly no glut of Godzilla audiences, many of whom were willing to pay more for IMAX and other specialty formats.

“These are literally two of the biggest movie stars in the world, and you need to see them on the biggest screen possible with the biggest sound possible,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at data firm Comscore.

The combination of “Godzilla x Kong,” “Dune Part Two” and “Ghostbusters” has left the year to date 6 percent behind 2023, while it was 20 percent behind on the eve of the release of “Dune ” On March 1.

“The industry was feeling pretty sad right before ‘Dune Part 2’ came out, but they’ve made up a lot of ground,” Dergarabedian said.

The summer is full of titles that aren’t guaranteed megahits but could make it big, including Ryan Gosling’s “The Fall Guy” and the upcoming installments of “Planet of the Apes,” “Mad Max,” “Inside Out” and “Deadpool.” ”.

That provides cause for optimism as the movie business tries to hold on, though it’s highly unlikely to make it past 2023, when “Barbie” surpassed $1 billion globally and its release date companion “Oppenheimer” doesn’t. he stayed behind.

“‘Barbenheimer'” is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Dergarabedian said.

Estimated ticket sales are Friday through Sunday at theaters in the United States and Canada, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be published on Monday.

1. “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire”, 80 million.

2. “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” $15.7 million.

3. “Dune: Part Two”, $11.1 million.

4. “Kung Fu Panda 4,” $10.2. million.

5. “Inmaculada”, 3.3 million dollars.

6. “Arthur the King”, $2.4 million.

7. “Late Night with the Devil,” $2.2 million.

8. “Tillu Square”, $1.8 million.

9. “Crew”, $1.5 million.

10. “Imaginary”, $1.4 million.

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