Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
The domestic box office continues on its road to recovery this weekend with the much anticipated release of Warner’s Godzilla vs. Kong. The Adam Wingard directed event film from the MonsterVerse universe was released day-and-date on Wednesday, theatrically and via streaming on HBO Max. The film’s day-and-date release doesn’t appear to be slowing down theatrical interest for Godzilla vs. Kong, as the film looks to have had numerous sell-outs on Wednesday and will look to continue to do so throughout the five-day frame. And like both Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 and Tom & Jerry before it, Godzilla vs. Kong will no doubt benefit from private theatrical screenings for small groups as well. Godzilla vs. Kong will be playing in over 3,000 locations this weekend (making it the widest release since the re-opening of domestic theatres back in August), will be playing on IMAX and PLF screens and looks to be receiving the highest amount of opening weekend screenings per location of any film since Tenet.
Godzilla vs. Kong was already off to an exceptional international start this past weekend, as the film launched with $123.1 million (including a strong $69.2 million from China). In addition to the high level of interest in the film itself, Godzilla vs. Kong will also be helped out this weekend by being the first real event film in the marketplace since the release of Wonder Woman 1984 back in December, by the ongoing recovery of the theatrical marketplace (especially with the re-opening of New York City and Los Angeles theatres in recent weeks) and by opening over the Easter weekend holiday frame (which has become a much stronger weekend for moviegoing in recent years). Critical reviews for Godzilla vs. Kong have been good, which should also give the film an extra boost this weekend.
With other recent openings in mind, Warner’s Tenet may offer the best direct comparison for Godzilla vs. Kong. Tenet started out with an estimated $20.2 million, which included five days of traditional wide release (Thursday through Monday) and an additional week in limited release that included grosses from Canada and Early Access preview shows in the United States. Given all of the positive signs for both Godzilla vs. Kong and the marketplace as a whole in comparison to last September and that Godzilla vs. Kong should have more built-in front-loading that Tenet out of the gate, it feels like the five-day opening of Godzilla vs. Kong could potentially double the $20.2 million extended opening of Tenet. And even with the midweek opening, the three-day figure for Godzilla vs. Kong this weekend shouldn’t have a problem surpassing the estimated $16.70 million debut of Wonder Woman 1984 to register the largest three-day opening weekend of any film since the re-opening of theatres (especially since Wonder Woman 1984debuted in a more modest 2,151 locations). Godzilla vs. Kong could start out with a five-day launch of $39.5 million, including $25.0 million over the three-day weekend.
After starting out on the very high end of consensus expectations last weekend with a first place debut of $6.82 million, Universal’s Nobody should find itself in a close race with Sony’s The Unholy for second place this weekend. While Nobody is benefiting from both good critical reviews and strong word of mouth (the film received an A- rating on CinemaScore), the film will likely experience some initial front-loading simply from having opened the weekend before Godzilla vs. Kong. One factor that could help Nobody in the race with The Unholy this weekend, is that on the average Nobody looks to be getting slightly more showtimes per location than The Unholy this weekend. The 44 percent decline of The Courier last weekend (when The Courier had to deal with the debut of Nobody) could be a good comparison for Nobody as it deals with Godzilla vs. Kong this weekend. Look for Nobody to decline a sizable 47 percent to take in $3.60 million this weekend and for the film to stabilize once we move beyond this weekend.
Sony’s The Unholy will look to serve as an alternative choice for those not in the mood for Godzilla vs. Kong this weekend. The PG-13 rated horror film from Screen Gems was directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos and stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Sam Raimi is also one of the film’s producers. As of publishing, critical reviews have yet to hit for The Unholy. The religious themed horror film will hope to benefit from opening over Easter weekend and while opening weekend potential for the film will be limited somewhat by opening against Godzilla vs. Kong, potential spillover audiences from Godzilla vs. Kong sell-outs could help make up for some of that (especially given the PG-13 rating for The Unholy). The Unholy could debut in the same neighborhood as both Freaky and Come Play back in the fall, which respectively opened with $3.60 million and $3.12 million. A start of $3.40 million would likely place The Unholy in third place this weekend.
Last weekend Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon declined 27 percent to take second with $3.76 million, while Warner’s Tom & Jerry decreased 32 percent to place in third with an estimated $2.60 million. Both family films could have slightly larger percentage declines this weekend, given that they both will be losing showtimes due to the launch of Godzilla vs. Kong and that family films tend to have fairly average holds over Easter weekend (before typically holding very well the weekend after Easter). Look for Raya and the Last Dragon to decline 30 percent from last weekend to take in $2.65 million and for Tom & Jerry to decrease a similar 33 percent to gross $1.75 million. Also of note is that by the end of this weekend, Raya and the Last Dragon will have moved past the $30 million domestic mark, while Tom & Jerry should be right on the verge of the $40 million domestic mark.
With the monstrous added presence of Godzilla vs. Kong in the marketplace this weekend, holdovers just outside of this weekend’s top five should experience sharper declines than they did last weekend. Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking could decline 46 percent to gross $0.65 million, Roadside Attractions’ The Courier could fall 49 percent to register $0.53 million and Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age could decrease just 24 percent to take in $0.42 million