‘Godzilla x Kong: New Empire’ Roars to Monstrous $80M Box Office Opening, $194M Globally

Enemies-turned-frenemies proved to be just what the Easter weekend box office needed.

Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire opened to a monstrous $80 million at the domestic box office, well ahead of an expected $45 million to $55 million. The tentpole scored the second-best opening in the MonsterVerse Universe, no small feat for a fifth film in a franchise. It also delivered the fifth biggest Easter opening of all time, according to Sunday estimates.

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Globally, the film stomped to a $194 million launch after taking in $114 million overseas from 64 markets — including an impressive $44 million in China, where Legendary East is handling the movie. These days, many Hollywood event pics don’t come close to doing that level of business in China (on Monday, it will pass up the $46.5 million earned by Dune: Part II to rank as the top-grossing Hollywood title of 2024). Godzilla x Kong opened to $12.8 million in Mexico, a franchise best, and delivered the studio’s biggest opening ever in India ($5.5 million). The movie also has a handful of major markets yet to open.

Many critics didn’t think highly of Godzilla x Kong, but audiences disagreed, giving it an A- CinemaScore and 4.5 stars on PostTrack. It’s also playing to an ethnically diverse audience and all key age groups, another plus. In terms of gender, males are buying more than 67 percent of tickets, while 62 percent were ages 35 and under.

“This is certainly an exciting result,” says Mary Parent, chairman of worldwide production for Legendary. “The film does a great job for the core fans and succeeded in broadening the audience. It played to a new and younger audience.”

Adam Wingard returned to direct the tentpole, which stars Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Dan Stevens. This time around, the two mega-monsters decide to put aside their differences and face a mysterious force that threatens to destroy their planet.

Godzilla and Kong aren’t the only reason why WB and Legendary have reason to celebrate. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two crossed the $600 million mark at the worldwide box office Friday, compared to $406 million globally for the first Dune.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire had no major competition to speak of, as Sony’s new Ghostbusters movie, which opened last weekend, fell 65 percent.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire placed No. 2 with $15.7 million for a domestic total of $73.5 million and a lackluster $108.5 million globally.

Dune II stayed squarely at No. 3 in its fifth outing despite losing most Imax and other premium screens to Godzilla x Kong (premium screens turned in a combined 48 percent of the opening weekend gross for Godzilla; motion 4D screens were a particular favorite).

Domestically, Dune II grossed $11.1 million for a cume of $252.4 million, while overseas it took in another $18.4 million from 73 markets for a foreign tally of $373.7 million and $626.1 million globally.

Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 also remained a winner in its fourth outing, placing No. 4 with $10.2 million for a domestic tally of $151.7 million and $347.3 million domestically.

Universal’s Oscar victor Oppenheimer — which centers on the creation of the atomic bomb the U.S. dropped on Japan to end World War II — finally opened in Japan. It earned $2.6 million, the biggest opening of the year to date among Hollywood titles. That’s also ahead of most of director Christopher Nolan’s other films.

Back in North America, Neon’s Immaculate rounded out the top five on the domestic chart with $3.3 million its second weekend for a domestic cume of $11 million.

Among new offerings at the specialty box office, Sony Pictures Classics’ Wicked Little Letters, starring Olivia Colman, posted a solid per-theater average of $17,588 when launching in five cinemas.

March 31, 9:15: Updated with foreign grosses.

This story was originally published March 30 at 8:30 a.m.

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