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Godzilla vs. Kong [Japanese] Box Office Watch (09/01/2021)

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G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaMar-13-2021 10:19 PM

Japanese Box Office (as of 09/01/2021): 1.88 Billion Yen ($17.2 Million USD)

World Wide Total (as of 08/11/2021): $467.9 Million USD


UPDATE 09/01/2021:
It's looking like Godzilla vs. Kong has finished in Japan after 9 weeks. The film is no longer being tracked and early estimates keep the film at 1.88 Billion Yen ($17.2 Million USD). It likely didn't move enough tickets to change anything. We await final word in the coming weeks, but it's currently only playing in 39 locations and will be losing most of them tomorrow. It seems to have finished with a 1.25 million in attendance.

As of September 1st, it finishes as the 17th highest grossing and most attended film in Japan this year. It is the 2nd highest grossing Hollywood film of they year behind Fast & Furious 9. It ranks 29th out of 36 most attended in the series and the least grossing/least attended of the Monsterverse. (Kogyotsushin via World of KJ)

UPDATE 08/24/2021:
Godzilla vs. Kong continues to hang on at the Japanese box office. The film managed another $200,000 between its 7th and 8th weekends, currently sitting at 1.88 Billion Yen. ($17.2 Million)

In its 8th weekend attendance sits at 1.25 million--A little higher than expected, but unlikely to hit 1.30 million. (Kogyotsushin via World of KJ)

UPDATE 08/16/2021:
Because Godzilla vs. Kong is no longer in the top 10, weekend grosses will no longer be an option. The good news is 7th weekend estimates have been adjusted and Godzilla vs. Kong has hit 1.86 Billion Yen ($17 Million). The film has actually surpassed Godzilla: Tokyo SOS's attendance with 1.23 million. (Kogyotsushin)

UPDATE 08/14/2021:
Kogyotsushin reports the actuals for Godzilla vs. Kong's 6th weekend translate to $16.5 Million. The good news is this puts its attendance at 1.20 Million, matching Godzilla: Tokyo SOS.

It's expected to finish around 1.25 million, just ahead of Tokyo SOS, but 130,000 behind 1974's Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla.

As of last week Godzilla vs. Kong is no longer the highest opening Hollywood movie in Japan. Fast & Furious 9 has taken that spot opening with over 64,000 more in attendance.

Godzilla vs. Kong has dropped to the 12th highest grossing film of Japan's 2021 calendar year and the 14th most attended film of the year. It is still the #1 highest grossing Hollywood film of the year, but Fast & Furious 9 is expected to surpass it.

Box Office analysts are expecting it to only have a few more weeks of life left in it.

UPDATE 08/11/2021:
According to Cinema Today and Kogyotsushin, Godzilla vs. Kong has fallen out of the top 10 in its 6th week. Now that it has fallen out of the top 10 it will be more difficult to track. Early estimates via Piixin put the film at 1.81 Billion Yen ($16.3 Million). Actuals are still being translated.

UPDATE 08/06/2021:
Actuals, put Godzilla vs. Kong's 5th weekend at 1.75 Billion Yen. ($15.92 Million). It made $375,706 for the weekend.

Estimated attendance still sits around 1.13 million. (Box Office Theory)

UPDATE 08/02/2021:
Godzilla vs. Kong fell from #5 last weekend to #9 in its 5th weekend. (Cinema Today) The current estimated total is 1.74 Billion Yen ($15.9 Million). (Pixiin)

This places estimated attendance at 1.13 million. Here's how it stacks up with the 5th weeks for the prior three live action Godzilla movies.

5th Weekend Comparison:
Godzilla 2014: $27.9M - Attendance: 1.99M
Shin Godzilla: $51.7M - Attendance: 3.63M
Godzilla: King of the Monsters: $24.3M - Attendance: 1.80M
Godzilla vs. Kong: $15.9M - Attendance: 1.13M

UPDATE 07/28/2021:
Actuals have come in and are higher than expected. Godzilla vs. Kong made $673,840 over the 4th weekend bringing the total to 1.63 Billion Yen ($14.92 Million). As a result, the estimated attendance goes up to 1.06 million--Still a far cry from Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, but better than Pacific Rim. (Via Bunkatsushin)

UPDATE 07/26/2021:
Cinema Today reports that Godzilla vs. Kong dropped from #3 to #5 in its 4th weekend, which looks like a slightly better hold than prior weekends. Godzilla vs. Kong's total is now at 1.6 Billion Yen ($14.51 Million).

As of this date it is currently is the 10th highest grossing film in Japan for 2021 and the #1 highest grossing Hollywood film for the year. Attendance is estimated at 1.03 Million, topping Godzilla: Final Wars, but almost 200K from Godzilla: Tokyo SOS.

More details as they come.

UPDATE 07/22/2021:
The attendance for Godzilla vs. Kong has been updated and is a little higher than I previously reported. As of its third weekend it stands at 916,900.

It's not a lot more than expected, but worth updating for the sake of accuracy. (Bunkatsushin)

UPDATE 07/20/2021 B:
Actuals confirm that Godzilla vs. Kong's current total is at 1.41 Billion Yen ($12.9 Million). The film fell -55.22% from last weekend with a third weekend haul of $1.03 Million.

UPDATE 07/20/2021:
Godzilla vs. Kong dropped to #3 in its third weekend, via Kogyotsushin.
Pixiin reports the film's total is now at an estimated 1.41 Billion Yen ($12.9 Million)--$2.4 Million up from last weekend. This puts attendance at an estimated, 902,491, which is still just under Terror of MechaGodzilla for the series attendance.

Here's how Godzilla vs. Kong stacks up to the last three live action Godzilla films third weekend totals.

3rd Weekend Total Comparison:
Godzilla 2014: $20.5M.
Shin Godzilla: $32.6M.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters: $20.5
Godzilla vs. Kong: $12.9

UPDATE 07/16/2021:
The actuals for Godzilla vs. Kong last weekend come from Bunkatsushin, with 1.15 Billion Yen which translates to roughly $10.5 Million. Attendance is now at 734,586. With any luck it should surpass Terror of MechaGodzilla and Godzilla vs. Megalon this weekend.

It's currently projected to finish around 1.05-1.40 million.

UPDATE 07/11/2021:
Via box office commentator Luiz Fernando, weekend estimates for Godzilla vs. Kong put it at #2 with a $2.1 million--About $1 million less than expected and 51% drop from last weekend.

It's current estimated total is $10.1 million and is eyeing a $15-20 million finish depending on how solid its legs are. Actuals later.

UPDATE 07/09/2021:
According to Bunkatsushin weekend actuals keep Godzilla vs. Kong at 5.62 million with a 392,343 attendance. The first Hollywood or western movie to open #1 in Japan in 40 weeks.

Japan has recently declared another state of emergency due to rising Covid numbers. Prior states of emergency have had negligible effect on the box office according to Japanese B.O. pundits. We'll see how well Godzilla vs. Kong holds this weekend.

UPDATE 07/05/2021:
Cinema Today Japan reports the film had an attendance of 390,000 over the three day weekend. (293,000 for Saturday and Sunday). Kogyotsushin confirms it was #1 for the weekend having opened in 366 screens--roughly 70 less than the last three live action Godzilla movies, but over 200 more than the anime films. (Eiga)

UPDATE 07/04/2021:
Godzilla vs. Kong will be the largest Hollywood opening in Japan this year with a two day opening weekend estimate of $4.3 million ($5.6 million estimated three day opening). It's possible that number could exceed $6 million when the actuals drop.

The opening stomps every Hollywood movie released in Japan this year and surpasses the final gross of Wonder Woman 1984, which finished with $5.1 million USD and only 370,000 in attendance. Tom & Jerry is currently the highest grossing 2021 Hollywood film in Japan with $7.3 million. Attendance numbers for Godzilla vs. Kong are not yet in.

Unfortunately it misses all 3 of the former live action Godzilla movies, only beating the anime films which were opened in 2/3 less theaters. This is largely due to covid theater restrictions and rising numbers in Tokyo.

UPDATE 07/03/2021:
Box office commentator Luiz Fernando claims Godzilla vs. Kong had a $2.3 million Saturday. Up from Friday, but lower than King of the Monsters' Saturday in 2019. ($3.4 million USD). Current estimate total is $3.6 million+. Official estimates tomorrow and actuals on Tuesday.

UPDATE 07/02/2021:
From Scott Mendleson of Forbes, Godzilla vs. Kong opened to $1.35M on Friday, eyeing a $5-6 million three day weekend. This is well below Shin Godzilla and King of the Monsters, but ahead of Godzilla '14 and the anime films. Heavy rain and covid restrictions have apparently played a part against the box office, according to franchise historian and filmmaker Norman England. Early weekend numbers should be in by Sunday. Actuals on Tuesday.

Original Post:
This is really a placeholder until Godzilla vs. Kong releases in Japanese theaters on May 14th.

I generally enjoy watching the Japanese box office more than the American box office due to the differences in the way movies are released. Japan also values attendance numbers over gross, the amount of people who see this thing will be more important.

Although there have been fewer releases in Japan this year due to covid, this fact has actually spiked individual films and their success. For example, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train was released in theaters last October and became both the highest grossing and most attended film of all time in Japan because of audiences starving to go to theaters to see a new movie. Additionally, last weekend Shin Evangelion opened to a whopping $11 million and may end up being only the second film in Japanese history to break 3 Million Yen in 7 days. ($27/$28 million)

So in some ways the pandemic has helped movies at the Japanese box office. Theoretically, circumstance has positioned Godzilla vs. Kong to do very well. But how much of a draw will foreign films have? Japanese films have been dominating at their box office and there haven't been many foreign films in the market this year.

It's possible cultural prejudice will set in. The only recent Hollywood film in Japan to compare with is Wonder Woman 1984. It flopped hard only making $1.1 Million and 79,000 in attendance. (About half of Planet of the Monsters.)

On the other hand DC/Marvel movies don't do very well in Japan anyway and it was released in December. Things are a lot different in Japan right now and Godzilla vs. Kong doesn't hit theaters until May. We'll see how it does in a Covid-era Japan. It should prove to be more interesting to watch than the US box office, since the theater/streaming model makes it difficult to gauge.

So what does Godzilla vs. Kong have to stack up against in comparison to recent films?

Comparison:

Godzilla (2014)
- Screens (at opening): 427
- Opening weekend: $5.0 million
- (Opening weekend counting Friday:) $6.7 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $31 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 2.23 million

Shin Godzilla (2016)
- Screens (at opening): 448
- Opening weekend: $6.1 million
- (Opening weekend counting Friday:) $8.2 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $79.2 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 5.69 million

Kong: Skull Island
(2017)
- Screens (at opening): 676
- Opening weekend: $3.4 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $17.7 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 1.34 million

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017)
- Screens (at opening): 158
- Opening weekend: $1.3 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $3.1 million (est.)
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 169,000 (est.)
(Last official number before dropping from top 10: $3 million)

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (2018)
- Screens (at opening): 159
- Opening weekend: $945,000
- TOTAL GROSS: $1.7 million (est.)
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 93,100 (est.)
(Last official number before dropping from top 10: $945,000)

Godzilla: The Planet Eater (2018)
- Screens (at opening): 158
- Opening weekend: $901,000
- TOTAL GROSS: $2.6 million (est.)
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 142,400 (est.)
(Last official number before dropping from top 10: $1.9 Million)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
- Screens (at opening): 431
- Opening weekend: $6.3 million
- (Opening weekend counting Friday:) $8.6 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $25.8 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 1.91 million

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
- Screens (at opening): 366
- Opening weekend: $4.3 million
- (Opening weekend counting Friday:) $5.6 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $17.2 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 1.25 million

Context:
It's important to remember that the anime films were initially envisioned as a television series and Toho heavily advertised the Netflix release. The thought process was Toho had likely made up all of its money for those films through the Netflix deal. The theatrical release was merely to shake some extra change loose from the branches--After all, had it been a TV series the project wouldn't be in theaters at all. Note that Toho released those movies to significantly fewer screens compared to the others.

It's also worth noting that 1 million+ attendees in the 1970s was sustainable, considering the Japanese film industry had taken a massive economic hit that decade. Many studios shut down completely during the 1970s and Toho was only churning out a few movies a year. The declining audience forced massive budget cuts to the Godzilla series.

Also note that ticket prices depend on what type of movie is being released. (Hollywood, animated, drama, family, etc.) So one movie may be more expensive in Japan than another, which is why the gross doesn't consistently correlate to the attendance numbers.

Finally Japan doesn't usually include Fridays in their weekend numbers--That includes opening weekend.

Other Japanese box office watches:
Shin Godzilla
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters
Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle
Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla Series attendance numbers:

Attendance including recent giant monster/kaiju films:


How to gauge success based on attendance:
1 million or under - Flop
1 million+ - Disappointment
2 million+ - Minor or Commercial Success
3 million+ - Major Hit
4 million+ - Blockbuster
5 million+ - Uber-Blockbuster

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."
35 Replies

G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaAug-24-2021 11:09 AM

UPDATE 08/24/2021:
Godzilla vs. Kong continues to hang on at the Japanese box office. The film managed another $200,000 between its 7th and 8th weekends, currently sitting at 1.88 Billion Yen. ($17.2 Million)

In its 8th weekend attendance sits at 1.25 million--A little higher than expected, but unlikely to hit 1.30 million. (Kogyotsushin via World of KJ)

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."

Djdndnejwnwn

MemberGiganAug-24-2021 11:38 AM

How long do you think it will be In Theaters

expecting the worst, sets you up for thr worst

G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaAug-24-2021 11:51 AM

HinikunaGoji,
In Japan? My guess is not much longer. It's just not pulling enough attendance by this point. I'd give it another two weeks.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."

G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaSep-01-2021 7:36 AM

UPDATE 09/01/2021:
It's looking like Godzilla vs. Kong has finished in Japan after 9 weeks. The film is no longer being tracked and early estimates keep the film at 1.88 Billion Yen ($17.2 Million USD). It likely didn't move enough tickets to change anything. We await final word in the coming weeks, but it's currently only playing in 39 locations and will be losing most of them tomorrow. It seems to have finished with a 1.25 million in attendance.

As of September 1st, it finishes as the 17th highest grossing and most attended film in Japan this year. It is the 2nd highest grossing Hollywood film of they year behind Fast & Furious 9. It ranks 29th out of 36 most attended in the series and the least grossing/least attended of the Monsterverse. (Kogyotsushin via World of KJ)

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."

G. H. (Gman)

AdminGodzillaSep-02-2021 10:27 PM

Charts have been updated.

Analysis of Godzilla vs. Kong's Japanese run:
At this point we can stop using covid as an excuse. Other films have overperformed in increasingly worse conditions. As of this writing, Fast & Furious 9 is still in the top 10 having accrued $28.1M/2.03M in attendance in just 4 weeks. The numbers embarrasses Godzilla vs. Kong's 9 week climb to $17.2M/1.25M in attendance. It's still the 2nd highest grossing Hollywood film of 2021, but what does that mean in Japan exactly?

The big issue is Japan is more interested in domestic films, while foreign (or Hollywood) movies have done progressively worse in the country for years. With less and less marketable Hollywood offerings lately, the scale seems to have tipped further.

For example, the Japanese production Tokyo Revengers opened 1 week after Godzilla vs. Kong and it currently sits at $36.6M/3.01M in attendance. Another Japanese film, Belle, opened 2 weeks after Godzilla vs. Kong and is at a whopping $50.8M/4.02M in attendance. Both movies are still in the top 10 after being in theaters for 7 and 8 weeks respectively. Godzilla vs. Kong fell out of the top 10 after week 5 and other Hollywood movies have done much worse. Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, Tom & Jerry and Wonder Woman 1984 all failed to hit $10M. The closest was Black Widow with only $8.2M and 0.6M in attendance.

Godzilla vs. Kong did better than most of the imports due to the curiosity of how Hollywood handles Japanese IP. But while Japanese Godzilla fans tend to like Godzilla vs. Kong, its general audience are lukewarm to how we handle their IP, preferring their own content. Another example is the CG remake of Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back. It opened the same year as the big budget, Hollywood take on Pokemon, Detective Pikachu. But the Mewtwo Strikes Back remake still did better in Japan.

So as poorly as Godzilla vs. Kong did, there's two things in its favor: 1) It did okay for a Hollywood flick, especially in comparison to this year's slate and 2) Toho didn't lift a finger to make it. Toho loves the international spotlight too much to let Godzilla vs. Kong's performance deter them from wanting more. And the fact they keep the Japanese box office receipts sweetens the deal. (WB/Legendary doesn't see a cent of the money it makes in Japan.)

But if this were a Toho production, Godzilla would likely be going back on hiatus again.

Comparison:


Godzilla (2014)
- Screens (at opening): 427
- Opening weekend: $5.0 million
- (Opening weekend counting Friday:) $6.7 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $31 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 2.23 million

Shin Godzilla (2016)
- Screens (at opening): 448
- Opening weekend: $6.1 million
- (Opening weekend counting Friday:) $8.2 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $79.2 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 5.69 million

Kong: Skull Island
(2017)
- Screens (at opening): 676
- Opening weekend: $3.4 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $17.7 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 1.34 million

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017)
- Screens (at opening): 158
- Opening weekend: $1.3 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $3.1 million (est.)
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 169,000 (est.)
(Last official number before dropping from top 10: $3 million)

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (2018)
- Screens (at opening): 159
- Opening weekend: $945,000
- TOTAL GROSS: $1.7 million (est.)
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 93,100 (est.)
(Last official number before dropping from top 10: $945,000)

Godzilla: The Planet Eater (2018)
- Screens (at opening): 158
- Opening weekend: $901,000
- TOTAL GROSS: $2.6 million (est.)
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 142,400 (est.)
(Last official number before dropping from top 10: $1.9 Million)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
- Screens (at opening): 431
- Opening weekend: $6.3 million
- (Opening weekend counting Friday:) $8.6 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $25.8 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 1.91 million

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
- Screens (at opening): 366
- Opening weekend: $4.3 million
- (Opening weekend counting Friday:) $5.6 million
- TOTAL GROSS: $17.2 million
- TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 1.25 million

Godzilla Series attendance numbers:

Attendance including recent giant monster/kaiju films:

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."
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