Warner Bros. decision to simultaneously release their 2021 feature films via theatrical release and their in-house streaming service HBO Max has been paying off. According to a report by Variety, the streaming behemoth has set the record for the highest-grossing film of the pandemic with Godzilla vs. Kong. The 2021 battle of the kaiju has set the record by grossing $70 million domestically over two weeks. The previous record-holder belonged to another Warner Bros. film, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet which grossed $58.4 million.
As life is returning back to normal, theaters have been opening up across the country, with many opening at a limited capacity. The influx of theaters opening has undoubtedly helped Godzilla vs. Kong which is expected to turn a profit. According to Variety, the film has grossed $350 million worldwide, with nearly half of that coming from China ($165.4 million) on a budget of $165 million.
Although the move to simultaneously release the films at home and on HBO Max has proven to be a success for WarnerMedia, time will tell how this move will affect theater owners in a post-pandemic future. With plenty more films expected to release this year via the streaming service, we will have to wait to see if any of them can dethrone the King of the Apes and the King of the Monsters.