Godzilla X Kong Pushes The MonsterVerse Past $2 Billion At The Box Office

With a stellar opening weekend in the books for "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire," the MonsterVerse franchise has passed a significant milestone at the box office. The franchise, which kicked off in 2014 with director Gareth Edwards' "Godzilla," has collectively crossed the $2 billion mark worldwide. Through five films (and a TV show), the series has remained steadily popular, with no signs of audience fatigue whatsoever. Long live the King(s) of the Monsters.

Director Adam Wingard's "Godzilla x Kong" pulled in a very impressive $80 million on its opening weekend, which was a far bigger number than pre-release tracking suggested. That number includes a record-breaking $10 million from Thursday preview screenings. The movie also pulled in $114.8 million internationally, giving it a global opening of $194.8 million. That makes it one of the biggest opening weekends of 2024 overall, right up there with "Dune: Part Two." More importantly, that pushed the MonsterVerse to a running total of $2.13 billion globally since its inception. 70 years on, and Godzilla remains a true blue movie star.

The other movies in the franchise have, for the most part, done well for themselves. The series to date includes "Godzilla" ($529 million worldwide), "Kong: Skull Island" ($561 million worldwide), "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" ($383 million worldwide), and "Godzilla vs. Kong" ($468 million worldwide). The only true flop of the bunch was director Michael Dougherty's "King of the Monsters," which bit off a little more than it could chew. But "Godzilla vs. Kong" was a real bounce back that also helped theaters get back on their feet during the pandemic.

The MonsterVerse has conquered the cinematic universe game

Toho has largely controlled the fate of the "Godzilla" franchise for most of its life, dating back to the original 1954 monster movie classic that started it all. But Hollywood has come calling a few times, including in 1998 when Roland Emmerich took a stab at making an American "Godzilla" movie with famously disastrous results. It took 16 years for Toho to get in bed with Hollywood again, with Warner Bros. and Legendary partnering on Edwards' film. That proved successful enough to warrant a continuation. Slowly but surely, the studios have built this into a cinematic universe that has lasted longer than many others that have tried to make it work in the last decade. WB and Legendary have been patient, not trying to do too much too fast. That patience has been greatly rewarded.

One thing that has helped a great deal is the fact that the budgets for these films have largely been kept under control. The most expensive was "Skull Island," which cost a whopping $185 million to make, but it's also the highest-grossing entry in the series to date. Wingard has kept things very reasonable during his tenure, with "Godzilla vs. Kong" costing $155 million. Most surprisingly, he made "Godzilla x Kong" for even less, with the budget reported to be just $135 million. I know saying "just" sounds silly when talking about such large numbers, but relative to modern blockbusters, that's a shockingly low number.

Whether or not the MonsterVerse continues is another question entirely. All parties have the motivation to keep it going, and Wingard seems interested in coming back to round out his trilogy. Why not keep this kaiju train on the tracks?

I spoke more about this on today's episode of the /News Daily podcast, which you can listen to below:

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"Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" is in theaters now.