'Godzilla vs. Kong' Lights Up U.S. Box Office With $9.6M Opening Day

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

Godzilla battles Kong in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures action adventure 'Godzilla vs. Kong,' a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures release.

That's the best single day gross of the pandemic.

Godzilla vs. Kong did monster business on it opening day at the domestic box office — at least for the pandemic-era — in a big boost for Hollywood.

The Legendary and Warner Bros. tentpole earned $9.6 million on Wednesday from 2,409 ocations in North America, with the majority in the U.S. 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 was officially cleared to the Orange Tier, however, but won't be allowed to up capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent until April 5.

Godzilla vs. Kong has a shot at grossing $30 million to $40 million in its five-day debut, a pandemic-best. The film earned an A CinemaScore from audiences, and solid exits on PostTrak. The film skewed male (63 percent), while 72 percent of ticket buyers were 35 and under.

The Adam Wingard-directed pic played 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 since the COVID-19 crisis began. That included $70 million-plus in China.

To date, the the best three-day launch 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.