Godzilla X Kong Passes Skull Island At The Box Office As New King Of The MonsterVerse

There's a new king in town. It may have happened just as the movie is arriving on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD, but "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" has passed a majorly impressive box office milestone. Two and a half months after director Adam Wingard's follow-up to 2021's "Godzilla vs. Kong" hit theaters, it has officially passed 2017's "Kong: Skull Island" to become the highest-grossing movie in the MonsterVerse franchise.

According to Deadline, "Godzilla x Kong" has now amassed $570 million worldwide, taking it just past the $568.6 million total of "Skull Island." Wingard's second MonsterVerse film has earned $196.3 million domestically to go with $373.7 million internationally. The biggest difference is that "Skull Island" made a whopping $400 million of its total overseas in its day. The only film in the franchise to make more than "GxK" domestically was 2014's "Godzilla" ($200 million domestically/$529 million worldwide) directed by Gareth Edwards. That film kicked off the MonsterVerse as we know it, which has now been going strong for a decade.

The franchise also includes 2019's "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" ($387 million worldwide), which remains the lone disappointment of the bunch so far. "Godzilla vs. Kong" pulled in $468 million worldwide in 2021 and helped get theaters back on their feet in the aftermath of 2020's COVID-19 lockdowns. As a result, Warner Bros. and Legendary were eager to get Wingard back to helm the sequel. That panned out pretty well for all involved.

A decade later and the MonsterVerse is stronger than ever

Not only did "The New Empire" become the biggest movie in the MonsterVerse and, amazingly enough, the highest-grossing "Godzilla" movie of all time, but it did so on a relatively thrifty budget. The film was made for $135 million before marketing, making it the cheapest entry in the franchise to date as well. So not only did it pull in more at the global box office, but WB and Legendary's profit margins will be larger as a result of that budget. In an era where $200 million budgets have become far too common in the realm of big studio blockbusters, this is refreshing.

What's most remarkable is that, even in the wildly uncertain pandemic landscape that Hollywood is contending with, this franchise is bigger than it has ever been. Not only do we have the movies going strong, but "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters" was also wildly successful on Apple TV+, with a second season and even some spin-offs on the way. One thing that stands out is the fact that the studios have been patient, taking it one movie at a time and not giving audiences the opportunity to become exhausted by all of the monster mayhem. Less, in this case, has proved to be more.

Wingard will not be returning for the already announced "Godzilla x Kong" sequel. Instead, Grant Sputore ("I Am Mother") has been tapped to direct whatever comes next, which remains a mystery. Dave Callaham ("Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings") is penning the screenplay for what will be the sixth MonsterVerse film overall. WB and Legendary haven't set a release date for the film just yet, but one assumes they'll want to keep the momentum going and get it in theaters sooner rather than later. 2026 feels like a safe bet. For now, a victory lap is in order.

"Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" is on VOD and Blu-ray now.