Weekend Box Office Report: April 2 – 4, 2021

The weekend box office report is provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.

Weekend Estimates Update:

It was a very promising weekend at the domestic box office, as Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong exceeded expectations to debut with an estimated $32.20 million over the three-day weekend. That easily represented the largest three-day opening weekend of any film since the re-opening of domestic theatres, as Godzilla vs. Kong opened an impressive 93 percent ahead of the estimated $16.70 million debut of fellow Warner Bros. release Wonder Woman 1984 back in December (which unlike Godzilla vs. Kong, opened on a Friday instead of a Wednesday). Since the film’s opening on Wednesday, the estimated five-day start for Godzilla vs. Kong stands at an impressive $48.50 million. That was 140 percent stronger than the estimated $20.20 million grossed by fellow Warner Bros. release Tenet during its first five days of wide release (and an additional eight days of limited release) and is already ahead of the estimated $46.11 million current total domestic gross of Wonder Woman 1984. Just as impressive, if not more so, is that the 5-day launch of Godzilla vs. Kong was in the same general neighborhood as the pre-pandemic 4-day Easter weekend launches of films such as 2018’s Ready Player One ($53.71 million) and 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($51.01 million), as well as the $47.78 million 3-day weekend opening of Godzilla: King of the Monsters back in May of 2019. And while Godzilla vs. Kong opening day-and-date theatrically and via streaming on HBO Max no doubt limited Godzilla vs. Kong from going even higher at the box office this weekend, the film’s performance also suggests that there is a real possibility for high-profile day-and-date releases to excel both in theatres and at home.

Godzilla vs. Kong played in 2,409 locations on Wednesday and Thursday, before adding another 655 locations on Friday to play in 3,064 locations over the weekend. Godzilla vs. Kong was the first film to play in over 3,000 locations since the re-opening of domestic theatres and with a per-location average of $10,509 for the frame, Godzilla vs. Kong was also the first wide release since the re-opening of theatres to have a per-location average over the $10,000 mark. While seating capacity restrictions are still in place throughout most of the domestic marketplace, Godzilla vs. Kong benefited this weekend from receiving a very high amount of showtimes per theatre, numerous sell-outs throughout the domestic marketplace and strong private theatrical screenings for small groups (which previously helped out Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 and Tom & Jerry). The Los Angeles and New York City markets being open obviously gave Godzilla vs. Kong a sizable boost as well, as Los Angeles was the film’s top DMA market this weekend, with New York City following as #2. Other top DMA markets for Godzilla vs. Kong this weekend included Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, the California Bay Area, Salt Lake City, Orlando and Atlanta. It should also be noted that an estimated 80 percent of the Canadian theatrical market remains closed and as a result, Godzilla vs. Kong is available as a PVOD release in Canada, where it has grossed an estimated $3.0 million from streaming sales alone. IMAX grosses for Godzilla vs. Kong have totaled an estimated $4.5 million in five days, which represents 9 percent of the film’s overall five-day domestic start.

Godzilla vs. Kong benefited this weekend from good critical reviews and from also going over well with audiences. In addition to the film’s strong A rating on CinemaScore, the film’s five-day to three-day ratio being a relatively modest 1.51 to 1 (for a film as anticipated as Godzilla vs. Kong) also points towards early word of mouth being strong for the film. Given the film’s word of mouth and that it will be facing very little new competition over the next few weeks, Godzilla vs. Kong won’t have a problem remaining king of the box office until fellow Warner Bros. release Mortal Kombat enters the marketplace on April 23. With Godzilla vs. Kong already being the third highest grossing film since the re-opening of domestic theaters; before long Godzilla vs. Kong will obviously become the highest grossing domestic film since re-opening and will have a strong chance of becoming the first film to reach the $100 million domestic mark since re-opening.

Godzilla vs. Kong also continued to excel internationally this weekend with an estimated $71.6 million from 38 markets. That brings the respective estimated totals for the film through Sunday to $236.9 million internationally and $285.4 million globally. Godzilla vs. Kong held up very nicely in China this weekend, as the film’s second weekend gross of $44.2 million was down just 37 percent. Godzilla vs. Kong has grossed a strong $137.1 million to date in China. Additional international totals through Sunday for Godzilla vs. Kong by market include $12.9 million in Mexico, $10.9 million in Australia, $9.7 million in Taiwan, $9.6 million in Russia, $7.9 million in India, $5.6 million in Thailand, $4.8 million in South Korea, $4.7 million in Vietnam and $4.2 million in Spain. Godzilla vs. Kong grossed an estimated $8.5 million from international IMAX screens this weekend. That brings the film’s current IMAX international total to $23.5 million and the film’s current IMAX global haul to $28.0 million.

Back on the domestic front, Sony’s The Unholy opened on the higher end of its modest expectations to debut in a distant second place this weekend with an estimated $3.20 million. The PG-13 rated religious themed 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. Heading into the weekend, it was thought that The Unholy would finish just behind Universal’s Nobody in a close race for second place, but ultimately The Unholy was able to outpace Nobody by an estimated $130,000 to claim second. The Unholy opened just ahead of the $3.12 million start of last year’s Come Play and just behind the $3.60 million opening of last year’s Freaky. With a location count of 1,850, The Unholy didn’t open as wide as either Come Play and Freaky did, but The Unholy also benefited from New York City and Los Angeles theatres being open and also likely received a bit of a boost from spill-over business from Kong vs. Godzilla sell-outs this weekend (especially given the PG-13 rating of The Unholy). Critical reviews for The Unholy have been mostly negative. Nonetheless, The Unholy will have a chance of holding up better than usual for a horror film over the next two weeks given that Lionsgate’s Voyagers is currently the only wide release scheduled during that time (with Voyagers opening next weekend on Friday, April 9).

After debuting in first place last weekend, Universal’s Nobody was down two spots to place in third this weekend with an estimated $3.07 million. Nobody declined a sharp 55 percent from last weekend, but that was obviously an understandable second weekend decrease given the break-out start of Godzilla vs. Kong. In the bigger picture, Nobody has grossed a healthy $11.87 million through ten days. That is 54 percent ahead of the recent estimated $7.70 million ten-day start of The Little Things. And with the opening weekend of Godzilla vs. Kong now out of the way, the well-received Nobody will have an excellent chance of stabilizing going forward. Internationally, Nobody grossed an estimated $2.92 million this weekend from 11 markets. Through Sunday, respective totals for Nobody stand at $9.2 million internationally and $21.1 million globally. Debuts for Nobody this weekend included $0.95 million in Australia, $0.41 million in Taiwan, $0.19 million in Hong Kong and $0.15 million in New Zealand. Additional current international totals for the film through Sunday include $3.22 million in Saudi Arabia, $2.97 million in Russia and $0.94 million in the United Arab Emirates. Nobody will open in South Korea this coming Wednesday (April 7).

Meanwhile, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon was down two spots from last weekend to take fourth with an estimated $2.05 million, while Warner’s Tom & Jerry was also down two spots to round out this weekend’s top five with an estimated $1.42 million. Both family films clearly took a hit from the added presence of Godzilla vs. Kong in the marketplace, as Raya and the Last Dragon declined 45 percent and Tom & Jerry decreased 48 percent. Respective domestic totals stand at $39.54 million for Tom & Jerry through 38 days and at $32.19 million for Raya and the Last Dragon through 31 days. Both films are likely to re-stabilize going forward, especially with no new animated films entering the marketplace until the release of Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed on June 4.

Internationally, Tom & Jerry grossed an estimated $3.0 million this weekend, including a debut of $1.0 million in Australia. Respective totals for Tom & Jerry through Sunday stand at $54.0 million internationally and $93.5 million globally.

Atlas Distribution’s The Girl Who Believes in Miracles was a nice surprise this weekend with a sixth place estimated start of $0.58 million. The faith-based drama was directed by Rich Correll and stars Mira Sorvino, Austyn Johnson and Kevin Sorbo. The Girl Who Believes in Miracles was released in a moderate 640 locations this weekend, which gave the film a respectable per-location average of $906 over the Easter weekend frame.

Further down on this weekend’s chart, Roadside Attractions’ The Courier took seventh with an estimated $0.45 million, while Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking followed in eighth with an estimated $0.38 million. Like the rest of this weekend’s holdovers, both The Courier and Chaos Walking took clear hits from the arrival of Godzilla vs. Kong, as The Courier was down 57 percent from last weekend and Chaos Walking was down a very sharp 69 percent. Respective total grosses stand at $12.23 million for Chaos Walking through 31 days and at $4.26 million for The Courier through 17 days.

In international box office news, Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway declined just 9 percent in its second frame in Australia to take in $1.9 million over Easter weekend. To date, Peter Rabbit 2 has grossed $4.2 million in Australia. This weekend also saw Peter Rabbit 2 debut with $0.47 million in New Zealand. To date, Peter Rabbit 2 has grossed $4.7 million from just Australia and New Zealand alone. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is currently scheduled to open domestically on July 2.

Read more at BoxOfficeReport.com

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