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Credit: Warner Bros./HBO Max

Box office: Godzilla vs. Kong tops $80 million in North America and chomps on Tenet's world record

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Apr 18, 2021, 2:02 PM EDT (Updated)

Godzilla vs. Kong dominated the domestic box office for the third weekend in a row with an extra $7.7 million in ticket sales, SYFY WIRE has confirmed. The kaiju-on-kaiju smackdown (which is also available to stream on HBO Max until the end of the month) now stands tall in North America with $80.5 million, and is expected to be the first pandemic-era release to hit $100 million between the U.S. and Canada.

Even if that doesn't happen, though, the Warner Bros./Legendary project is still the highest-grossing movie of the planet-wide health crisis — both domestically and globally. It's a rather commendable achievement in a time when major theaters are: A) operating at limited capacity in order to maintain social distancing and B) contending with hybrid theatrical/streaming rollout plans for major studio blockbusters. "Given the impaired marketplace," Variety writes, "new releases have been few and far between. That has given Godzilla vs. Kong and other holdover titles free rein over box office charts."

As mentioned above, Godzilla vs. Kong is currently the biggest movie in the world (and we're not talking about the size of the titular monsters here). Thanks to a draw of $390 million globally ($177M of that colossal figure comes from China), it has officially beat out Tenet's COVID record of $363 million.

"The significance of Godzilla vs. Kong's box office performance cannot be overstated," Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for Comscore tells SYFY WIRE. "Not only has GvK become the top-grossing film of the pandemic, but it has also powered three of the top six overall industry weekends of the past 13 months. The film is also important symbolically because it proved that audiences — when given the choice to watch from home or in the movie theater — chose the big screen experience in much better-than-expected numbers. As a movie perfectly-tailored for big screens (including, of course, the massive IMAX format), GvK hit theaters at the perfect intersection of growing consumer confidence meeting a pent-up demand for outside-the home-entertainment, plus a greater availability of movie theaters. The results offer proof that streaming and the multiplex can simultaneously thrive in this most unusual marketplace. This is great news for the industry."

Warner Bros./HBO Max

Sony's The Unholy took third place at this weekend's North American box office (following Universal's Nobody) with a praise-worthy $2 million. To date, the religious horror film — headlined by The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan — has accrued $9.5 million in its domestic collection basket. Internationally, the movie's brought in about $450,000, which is unusual for pandemic times when most features are faring better business in countries where the virus is better contained.

Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon took fourth place with a quiet $1.9 million, boosting its domestic cache to $37 million. Similar to Godzilla vs. Kong, Raya is also available to stream online, but unlike the Warner Bros./HBO Max model, Disney+ subscribers have to shell out $29.99 if they want to check out the animated adventure at home. 

Disney hasn't released any streaming numbers, so it's unclear how many households went with the Premier Access route. According to Box Office Mojo, Raya is on the verge of hitting $100 million globally — if it hasn't done so already.

Tom & Jerry came in fifth place, and now has $42 million at the North American box office after bringing in an additional $1.1 million. While the animated/live-action hybrid left HBO Max at the end of March, it's still chugging along in theaters around the world. In fact, the family-friendly outing surpassed $105 million in global sales this weekend. It's another notch of vindication for WB's unorthodox theatrical plans for 2021, which initially drew ire from high-profile directors like Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve.

Lionsgate had two genre holdovers this weekend: Chaos Walking Voyagers. Voyagers raked in an extra $790,000 this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $2.5 million, while Chaos Walking, is closing in on $13 million. Now in its 21st week, The Croods: A New Age fossilized $310,000 for a Stateside cume of just over $57 million. In China and Russia, an IMAX re-release of the first Lord of the Rings movie hit $1.3 million.