Let them fight save cinemas. Godzilla vs. Kong has done what Tenet could not, and reinvigorated the plummeting box office that has been on the decline since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut down theaters a year ago. Since its release on Wednesday, Godzilla vs. Kong has earned a five-day opening of $48.5 million, making it the biggest opening weekend haul for any film since the start of the pandemic.

Godzilla vs. Kong has smashed through the pandemic box offie slump, raking in $48.5 million over the course of its five-day opening, with a $32.2 million estimated Friday-to-Sunday total, according to The Wrap. While this is less than the $47.7 three-day opening of the 2019 predecessor, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, it’s far and away the strongest launch for any film since the start of the pandemic. It far surpassed the $20.2 million four-day opening of Tenet (despite director Christopher Nolan’s push for his film to save cinemas) and Wonder Woman 1984‘s $16.7 million Christmas opening.

It may have been aided by the fact that COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been steadily expanding, encouraging several major cities to reopen their theaters, including the leading markets of Los Angeles and New York, as well as San Francisco and Chicago. Los Angeles and New York, the latter of which has kept theaters closed for a full year, were the top DMAs (Designated Market Areas) for Godzilla vs. Kong, proving that these two major markets are indeed instrumental to a film’s domestic box office success.

Warner Bros. earned an additional $3 million from Canada, despite ongoing theater closures in the country, thanks to a day-and-date PVOD release available to Canadian moviegoers. The studio also reported a significant boost to its numbers from private screenings, which AMC offers for new films for prices starting at $149, depending on location.

Godzilla vs. Kong proved a roaring success for the country’s flagging box office returns, making up for 70% of all box office revenue for Easter weekend. The next highest performing film was Sony’s new horror film The Unholy, which took a very distant second at $3.2 million. Universal’s Nobody came in third with $3 million in its second weekend, while Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon took the fourth slot with $2 million, and Warner Bros.’ Tom & Jerry rounded out the Top 5 with an estimated $1.4 million.

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