‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ wins weekend box office


“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” smashed its box-office competition this weekend, soaring past expectations with estimated domestic ticket sales of $80 million and delivering the second best opening of the year, just behind another Warner Bros. and Legendary film, “Dune: Part 2.”

Premium formats such as Imax and Dolby Cinema made up 48% of the film’s business. The movie also made $114 in international markets, bringing its global weekend haul to $194 million, according to Warner Bros.

The film ranked an A-minus on CinemaScore, indicating what audiences saw met their expectations. Directed by Adam Wingard from a screenplay credited to Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett and Jeremy Slater, the film did not do as well with critics such as The Times’ Katie Walsh, who noted, “There’s a harried energy to ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,’ which is enjoyable until it becomes tiresome and deafening.”

The film brings back actors Rebecca Hall, Kaylee Hottle and Brian Tyree Henry from the Wingard-directed 2021 “Godzilla vs. Kong,” this time also adding Dan Stevens and Alex Ferns to the cast. The franchise’s two title stars are brought together by circumstances to team up to battle all manner of other creatures.

Three people stride forward with a purpose.

Dan Stevens, Rebecca Hall and Kaylee Hottle in the movie “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.”

(Daniel McFadden / Warner Bros. Pictures)

The film is the fifth in the revamped MonsterVerse franchise, and the box-office returns mark the second best opening weekend for the series, behind only the $93 million for “Godzilla” in 2014.

In an interview with The Times’ Tracy Brown, Wingard said it was an easy decision to make another film featuring the famous creatures.

“There’s nothing as a filmmaker that can prepare you for doing a movie with characters of 6-foot scale and 300-foot scale working together and all the insane mechanics that go along with making a kaiju movie,” Wingard said. “I knew that I wasn’t done with the series because I knew there were untapped reservoirs of potential in terms of what could be done with monsters.”

“New Empire” was the only new release in the weekend’s top five. “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” which led the box office last weekend, came in second place for its second week of release, with an estimated $15.7 million for the weekend and a cumulative total of about $73.4 million, according to Comscore.

“Dune: Part 2” brought in $11.1 million, to push its domestic total in five weeks of release to more than $252 million. “Kung Fu Panda 4” made around $10.2 million for a new domestic total of $151.7 million in its fourth week of release.

The original horror film “Immaculate,” starring Sydney Sweeney, came in fifth with a weekend estimate of around $3 million, pushing the film’s total to $11.1 million after two weeks.


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