Did ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Save The Cinemas? Some In The Media Are Speculating That It Did.

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No one can deny that the pandemic lockdowns have had an adverse effect on many aspects of society including movie theaters. The shutdown has forced many cinema companies to make tough decisions, but as lockdown measures loosen state-by-state, there is a renewed consumer interest in seeing movies on the big screen.

The question is, what movie would draw audiences back to cinemas? Some in the media have given the answer as the kaiju monster film ‘Godzilla vs. Kong.’ Despite being streamed for free to HBO Max customers, many sought to see the MonsterVerse sequel at the cinema.

“HBO Max subscribers had the option to stream ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ in the comfort of their homes during Easter and Passover weekend, but plenty of moviegoers opted to see it in theaters,” writes CNN Business. “That’s great news for the publicly traded owners of big multiplexes. Warner Bros., the studio that released the film, said Sunday that “Godzilla vs. Kong” has raked in nearly $50 million at the US box office since its release last Wednesday, sending shares of AMC (AMC) — a stock that’s incredibly popular with traders on Reddit — soaring more than 15%.”

“Some cities are now letting theaters reopen, but at a limited capacity to start,” CNN adds. “Some moviegoers are clearly craving the big-screen experience, and that will be a boost for the likes of AMC.”

James Hanton from the British outlet The Guardian agrees. After citing the tepid response to Christopher Nolan’s time-bending spy thriller ‘Tenet,’ he notes how the monster film has become a roaring success.

“Godzilla vs. Kong speaks volumes about what it will take to keep the movies alive,” Hanton says. “Something that makes you forget about the outside world, rather than have you longing to go back to it. Cinema is in too perilous a place right now to be stuck up on a high horse. If it takes brainless kaiju carnage to reignite love for the big screen, then we are not really in a position to complain.”

Aric Jenkins of The Ringer also agrees.

“The box office success first and foremost suggests that consumers are increasingly comfortable sitting in movie theaters after a year of social distancing,” he writes. “It also, more subtly, is a bit of a middle finger—albeit a very early and tentatively raised one—to the naysayers who said streaming would usurp theatergoing as the dominant method of movie consumption when Warner announced its simultaneous release strategy in December.”

The timing of this cannot be understated. With California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that the state could possibly open fully by mid-June, the box office performance of ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ might be the key to getting consumers back in the movie theater.


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