Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire–Picture Roars to $80M Box Office Opening, $194M Globally

That’s well ahead of expectations and is another major victory for Warner Bros. and Legendary after Dune: Part II, which cleared the $600 million mark globally over Easter weekend.

Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire opened to $80 million at the domestic box office, well ahead of an expected $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.

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 even come close to doing that level of business in China; Godzilla x Kong opened to $12.8 million, a franchise best. And, the studio saw its biggest opening ever in India ($5.5 million). The movie also has a handful of major markets yet to open.

'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters,' 'Godzilla: Minus One' and 'Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire'
Critics didn’t think highly of Godzilla x Kong, but audiences disagreed, giving in an A- CinemaScore and 4.5 stars on PostTrack.
It’s also playing to diverse audience and all key age groups, another plus.
Viewers: Young Males
In terms of gender, males are buying more than 67 percent of tickets, while 62 percent were ages 35 and under.

Adam Wingard returned to direct the tentpole, which stars Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Dan Stevens. This time around, the two mega-monsters actually 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 on 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).

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 any Hollywood title. 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 cinema