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Nothing brings in moviegoers like giant monsters.

With the COVID-19 pandemic now lasting well over a year, movie studios have been forced to get a little more selective with what they are and aren’t willing to send to theaters. While many theater chains like AMC have been making a concentrated effort to reopen within current safety standards, most movie fans aren’t willing to risk exposure for anything but the most particular kinds of movie. As it turns out, that particular kind of movie involves a giant lizard and a giant gorilla.

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla vs. Kong, the sequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island, debuted simultaneously in theaters and for a limited time on HBO Max yesterday. In spite of the fact that the film is available for home streaming, at least until the end of April, it seems monster movie fans won’t settle for anything less than the big screen. In its opening day alone, Godzilla vs. Kong turned a respectable box office profit of $9.6 million. That’s the combined profit from 2,409 theaters, about $3,980 made per location. No other film has brought in that kind of box office profit since the pandemic began in full in March of 2020. Even putting aside the fact that it released during a pandemic, that’s also pretty impressive for a film release on a weekday.

Analysts are projecting opening weekend profits between $20 million and $30 million. So far, Godzilla vs. Kong has received positive feedback from film critics and aggregate sites, placing it a solid step above its predecessors. With these good ratings, not to mention the fact that the film will be running the weekend virtually unopposed, this monstrous movie stands to become the king of pandemic-era cinema.