Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Godzilla vs. Kong's $48.5 Million Five-Day Haul Is a Rock-'Em Sock-'Em Sign Of Hope

Americans came out in numbers we haven't seen in more than a year for the ultimate movie battle: What does it mean for the future? We're breaking down the box office numbers from April 2-4, 2021.

by | April 4, 2021 | Comments

Godzilla vs. Kong

(Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures)

When Warner Bros. finally gave the go-ahead to put Tenet in theaters last Labor Day week, it took roughly six days to gross the reported “weekend” gross of $20.2 million. Though the numbers were fudged a bit, it is still just one of only three films since the beginning of the pandemic last March (Wonder Woman 1984 and Tom & Jerry being the others) to open with $10 million or more. Theaters have been closed and more streaming options have been made available, and people have shied from large gatherings to keep safe from a deadly virus. All of that has kept the industry, especially theaters, on edge. But leave it to a giant lizard and a mega ape to provide some much-needed hope by propelling the top 10 films in theaters to the best gross ($43.68 million estimated) since the weekend of March 13-15, 2020 ($49.58 million) just as the national crisis began. Let them fight, indeed!

King of the Crop: Godzilla vs. Kong Is the $48.5 Million Shot Of Hope We needed

Godzilla vs. Kong

(Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures)

$48 million. That’s a headline. That is more money than the combined total of the  number 1 film at the box office for the last five weeks. It is around $6 million more than what every film has made for the last two weekends. Granted, that is a five-day total since Wednesday, but whether it is $48 million or $33.9 million (its three-day weekend haul), Godzilla vs. Kong has provided some life for theatrical prospects. Especially after besting Wonder Woman 1984’s entire domestic gross in just five days. Who would have guessed that three of the best four theatrical openings over the past year would be films also concurrently available on HBO Max for home subscribers? Warner Bros. has to be feeling particularly good about that, grabbing the best of both worlds after some serious criticism with the sudden move for their 2021 lineup to the dual-opening strategy back in December.

Before everyone starts date-shaming the umpteenth-shifting No Time To Die for moving from this weekend, we’ll have to see how Godzilla vs. Kng holds over the next several weeks. Warner Bros. already pushed back Mortal Kombat a week to give GvK an additional week at number before that takes over. WB’s HBO Max titles are likely to be on top of the box office for six straight weeks. More theaters and chains are opening this month, which could reduce the weekly drops a little. While Wonder Woman 1984 dropped over 67% after Christmas weekend, the last three WB releases have fallen between 53.2% and 56.3% and done (to date) 2.50-3.17 times their opening grosses. The last film in the MonsterVerse series, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, had a 3-day opening of $47.7 million ($57.1 million in five days) and finished with just $110 million domestic and $386 million internationally. GvK is practically there with theaters at limited capacity and some chains still closed. The mere thought that we could even be talking about a $100 million picture again, let alone one that has already grossed $285 million worldwide, is a day many probably thought was much further down the road and provides real hope that we are on the road to recovery — if we can just hold out a bit more and continue to get vaccinated.

Versus vs. Versus: Which Is the Highest-Earning and Freshest Movie Showdown?

With all due respect to the 1963 King Kong vs. Godzilla, not to mention Earth vs. The Flying Saucers and Dollman vs. Demonic Toys, here are the top five-day openings for the Vs. genre.

  1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($193.22 million)
  2. Monsters Vs. Aliens ($66.21 million)
  3. Godzilla vs. Kong ($48.5 million)
  4. Alien Vs. Predator ($45.44 million)
  5. Freddy Vs. Jason ($43.33 million)
  6. Ford v Ferrari ($37.55 million)
  7. Aliens Vs. Predator – Requiem ($23.77 million)
  8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World ($13.51 million)
  9. Joe Versus the Volcano ($9.25 million*)
  10. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever ($8.04 million)

*3-day gross (5-day gross unavailable)

We disqualified Versus and Lola Versus from consideration given their lack of specificity for an opponent. (The latter would not have made the list regardless.) And below, here are the best-reviewed Vs. movies according to the Tomatometer:

  1. Ford v Ferrari (92%)
  2. The People Vs. Larry Flynt (88%)
  3. Kramer vs. Kramer (88%)
  4. Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (85%)
  5. Borg vs. McEnroe (84%)
  6. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (82%)
  7. Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (81%)
  8. The U.S. Vs. John Lennon (77%)
  9. Godzilla vs. Kong (76%)
  10. Monsters Vs. Aliens (73%)
  11. Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (73%)
  12. The People vs. George Lucas (72%)
  13. Joe Versus the Volcano (63%)
  14. Bikes vs Cars (60%)

The Top Ten And Beyond: Nobody Takes A Fall With All Eyes Fixed on the Monster Royal Rumble


(Photo by Allen Fraser/©Universal Pictures)

Those returning to the movies, for the most part, seem to be focused on whatever the shiny new object is. Last week’s number 1 film, Nobody, fell 55% to just $3.07 million. That’s a total of $11.8 million. It should have no problem surpassing The Little Things and The Marksman to become the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year. (Then again, only making $15 million is good enough to make you the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year!) Raya and the Last Dragon grossed another $2 million for a total of $32.1 million and Tom & Jerry upped its total gross to $39.5 million. Screen Gems’ piece of Holy Weekend counter-programming, The Unholy, grossed $3.2 million in 1,850 theaters. The Rotten horror film is nearly matching the 33% Tomatometer score that the Ben Cross/Hal Holbrook film, The Unholy, from 1988 sits with.

These Dates In Box Office History

The Hunger Games

(Photo by Murray Close/©Lionsgate Courtesy Everett Collection)

April 2: In 2012, The Hunger Games grossed $4.52 million to cross the $250 million mark in just its 11th day of release. It took Fox’s animated Robots 23 days just to hit $100 million when it made $4.36 million on this day in 2005.

April 3: In 2014, Divergent grossed $1.48 million to crack $100 million in its 14th day of release. A year earlier, it was The Croods passing that milestone with $3.27 million on just its 13th day of release. Those franchises both seemed doomed to some extent as The Croods sequel got caught up in the shuffle of the pandemic and Divergent never even finished the second half of its third book with a fourth movie. (The Croods sequel would prove something of a phenomenon during the pandemic.) On the other hand, in 2004, one of the most honored films of all-time at the Oscars, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, grossed $375 million by taking in $165,106 in its 109th day of release. It only took four days for that film to reach $100 million. On an even more historic day in 1998, this was the date when Lost In Space opened and ended the 15-week run of Titanic at number 1.

April 4: Though The Lord of the Rings series never reached the domestic milestone of $400 million, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast did just that in 2017 by grossing $4.56 million on this, its 19th day of release. This date also showed that the Divergent series was not doomed just yet, as Insurgent managed to cross the $100 million mark on this day in 2015 by grossing $3.82 million. It took the sequel two additional days to reach the milestone compared with its predecessor.

On the Vine: Teens In Space Vie For Your Attention

Ty Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, and Fionn Whitehead are astronauts who may be going crazy in Neil Burger’s sci-fi film, Voyagers. The Lionsgate movie was supposed to open over the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday but was postponed until next week. Are people ready to head from one form of isolation to witness another?

Full List of Box Office Results: April 2-4

  • $32.2 million ($48.5 million total)

  • $3.2 million ($3.2 million total)

  • $3.07 million ($11.87 million total)

  • $2.05 million ($32.19 million total)

  • $1.4 million ($39.5 million total)

  • $380,000 ($12.23 million total)

  • $210,000 ($56.34 million total)

  • $193,000 ($193,000 million total)

  • $165,000 ($15.04 million total)

  • $115,000 ($4.06 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

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Thumbnail: Allen Fraser /© Universal Pictures

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