The theatre chains all over the world have been in a rut due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, all big studios are refraining from releasing their tentpole films in the theatres. They’ve just got so many films piled up. In the meanwhile, the streaming services like Netflix, Prime and Disney+ are on the rise. They’re offering the kind of content that the theatres haven’t been able to. Which is why, studios like Disney, and even WarnerMedia are looking at big projects that could help their streamers grow in subscribers. Hence, Wonder Woman 1984 is coming to HBO Max along with the theatres. But, what about Godzilla vs. Kong?
The Hollywood Reporter has stated that Godzilla vs. Kong could be another tentpole movie that could go to an online streaming service. Apparently, Netflix has even made a bid of $200 million for Legendary Pictures to sell them the rights to the fourth film of their Monster-verse. But, WarnerMedia has blocked this deal for now, as they wish to come up with an even bigger offer in order to release the movie on HBO Max. Although, Legendary had no comment to offer on this, and Warner Bros. spokesperson said: “We plan to release Godzilla vs. Kong theatrically next year as scheduled.”
Well, the chances of Godzilla vs. Kong getting an HBO Max release are there, especially after Wonder Woman 1984’s announcement. But we have to believe that this transition from theatres to streamers will depend on three major factors:
- The situation of the theatres in the next three to four months.
- Wonder Woman 1984’s performance on HBO Max.
- The bid that WarnerMedia makes to put GvK on Max.
If the situation of the theatres doesn’t get better and Wonder Woman 1984 does exceptionally well on HBO Max, then we can expect a sizable bid to go for Godzilla vs. Kong. HBO Max is in dire need of paid subscribers. While all of its big budget TV shows are in development and won’t arrive any time soon, they are looking to fill that void and attract more subscribers by tentpole films. So, their move to acquire Godzilla vs. Kong does seem ideal.
But Warner Bros. and Legendary could still decide to go with the theatrical way of releasing the film, if the situation of the theatres gets better. Godzilla made $529 million at the Box Office. Kong: Skull Island brought in $567 million, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters underperformed with a global run of $386 million. Since GvK is the sort of finale event of this franchise, Warner Bros. and Legendary would probably be hoping for it to make well above $600 million worldwide. This result would turn in a profit after covering the cut of the theatres, the marketing costs, and the production costs which were bore by Legendary (75%) and Warner Bros. (25%).
But since the theatres may not deliver those kinds of numbers any time soon, Netflix’s $200 million offer, or WarnerMedia’s future offer for HBO Max might sound profitable for Legendary and Warner Bros. Since Netflix is not present in China, WB would have hoped to distribute Godzilla vs. Kong in that highly lucrative market. But since HBO Max is only present in the US for now, WB and Legendary might get a better deal as they’d hold theatrical distribution for the rest of the world.
So, don’t be surprised if Godzilla vs. Kong does end up on a streaming service. There’s a chance that it could run in the theatres simultaneously.