Box Office: 'Godzilla vs. Kong' Stomps to Big $6.7M Thursday

Godzilla vs Kong
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

The tentpole has earned an impressive $16.3 million in its first two days of play in the U.S.

Godzilla vs. Kong continued to roar Thursday at the domestic box office, earning $6.7 million from 2,409 reopened theaters for a two-day total of $16.3 million as the pic stomps into Easter weekend.

The Legendary and Warner Bros. tentpole will easily score the biggest opening since the COVID-19 crisis commenced. Analysts believe it will earn somewhere in the $30 million to $40 million range for the five days, if not more, a huge number for the pandemic era.

"The daily grosses during the pandemic have obviously been muted severely by the limited number of theaters and capacity, many fewer blockbuster releases and of course consumer reticence to go back to the movie theater," says box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore. "Fortunately, there seems to be a much-welcomed change afoot and we are seeing this reflected in the most recent numbers for Godzilla vs. Kong."

More than 93 percent of the U.S. marketplace is now in play, but only 24 percent of Canada, according to Warner Bros.

By Friday, the movie will be playing in 3,064 cinemas, a pandemic high. Many cinemas have limited capacity, however, including in Los Angeles and New York City. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County officially entered the Orange Tier, but won't be allowed to up capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent until April 5.

Godzilla vs. Kong, the fifth entry in Legendary's MonsterVerse series, earned an A CinemaScore from audiences. The film is skewing male and younger.

The Adam Wingard-directed film is playing to to an ethnically diverse audience: Caucasians 33 percent; Hispanic, 27 percent; African American, 23 percent; Asian, 10 percent; and Native American and other, 7 percent.

Legendary and its partner Warner Bros. already scored a major victory last weekend when the monster mashup debuted to a stellar $123 million at the foreign box office, the best opening for a Hollywood film in the pandemic era. That included $70 million-plus in China.

To date, the the best three-day opening of the pandemic in North America belongs to Warners' Wonder Woman 1984 ($16.7 million), which opened over Christmas during a second surge of COVID-19 cases that prompted a wave of theater reclosures, while Los Angeles and New York City theaters still hadn't reopened at all.

Dergarbedian says he believes Godzilla vs. Kong could mark the beginning of a gradual return to a "normal" box office.