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Godzilla vs. Kong won at the box office this weekend. That may be because Raya and The Last Dragon has been out for a few weeks and people have almost no other options. Plus we’re ready to go back to the movies now that over 40% of US adults have received at least one vaccination. The fact that it did so well is impressive. However I’m wondering if this film would have been a nonstarter in a typical movie climate. I’ve seen both Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters and I still had no idea what was happening in this movie. It was confusing, nonsensical, didn’t explain the premise at all, and violated its own rules. There were some funny moments, particularly in the group with Millie Bobby Brown, Brian Tyree Henry and Julian Dennison, but overall it was just a mess. I like ridiculous action movies when they’re funny and don’t take themselves too seriously. The Meg, Skyscraper, Rampage and Independence Day: Resurgence were great examples of this. This movie just felt like a fever dream and like they were making it up as they went along. I’m not going to post spoilers, but check out this twitter thread for some of the specific reasons I disliked it.
While I’m mad that this movie got made, I’m happy that people are going back to the movies again and that movie stocks are rallying. This film made almost $50 million at the US box office its opening weekend, which makes it the biggest film to open since the pandemic started! What’s more is that people could watch it at home on HBO and they still went to the movies. Here’s more from CNN.
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%.
Those box office numbers make the epic monster mash film the biggest Hollywood hit, by far, since the pandemic forced many theaters to shut down for a big stretch last year. Some cities are now letting theaters reopen, but at a limited capacity to start.
Some moviegoers are clearly craving the big-screen experience, and that will be a boost for the likes of AMC. The company which also benefited from an analyst upgrade Monday. Eric Wold of B. Riley Securities raised his rating to a “buy” and hiked his price target from $7 a share to $13 — about 20% above where the stock is now trading.
AMC’s monster move was echoed on a smaller scale by other related stocks: Cinemark (CNK), Marcus (MCS) and giant screen exhibitor IMAX (IMAX) also each rose between 3% and 6% while the UK-listed shares of Cineworld, the London-based owner of Regal Cinemas, were up 4%.
I saw this at a drive in because I’m only half vaccinated and am not ready to go back to the theater yet. It might be a few months until I’m ready to do that again. The advantage to being at a drive in is that you talk through the whole film and don’t have to worry about disturbing anyone. I was able to make fun of this in real time and I still hated it. It also made me feel slightly bad for Alex Skarsgard. I had such high hopes for him after True Blood! After I saw this film, his bizarre Kimmel interview made so much more sense. At least he’s getting a paycheck.
It’s good news that people are paying to see something we can get with an HBO subscription at home. The fact that it’s this ridiculous subpar film just underlines how hungry we are for blockbuster movies again.