‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Smashes Pandemic-Era Box Office Records Worldwide


King Kong and Godzilla facing off in “Godzilla vs. Kong.” (Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)

By Frank Gardner, Assistant Arts Editor

Warning: Contains spoilers for “Godzilla vs. Kong”


The action-packed blockbuster “Godzilla vs. Kong,” directed by Adam Wingard, is well on its way to becoming the most successful movie released during the pandemic. The story continues the saga of the two most iconic monsters in movie history. This is the second time Godzilla and King Kong have faced each other on the big screen, and it is the fourth installment of movies released by the multimedia franchise Monsterverse.

Ancient Rivals 

The film begins with a collage-style opening sequence that recaps the last three movies. The other monsters that have been introduced in previous films are now inactive — King Kong and Godzilla are the only ones remaining.  

We first see King Kong waking up on Skull Island, where everything appears to be business as usual. A young girl named Jia (Kaylee Hottle), native to the island, approaches Kong to show him a doll she’s made that resembles him. We learn that Jia is deaf and can communicate with Kong using sign language. Kong then launches a tree into the sky which hits a wall in mid-air, discovering his environment is an illusion — he is being contained in an enclosure. 

We’re then introduced to Godzilla, as the film shows the monster attack a facility owned by a company called Apex Cybernetics. A conspiracy theorist and podcast host, Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry), is onsite during the attack and investigates the wreckage — suspecting that Apex is up to no good. He finds a device similar to one invented in a previous film that can attract and subdue monsters like Godzilla. Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), the daughter of the scientist who invented this technology, has been closely following coverage of Godzilla. She and her friend Josh (Julian Dennison) meet with Bernie to revisit the destroyed Apex site, only to accidentally end up in a secret shipment headed to Apex headquarters in Hong Kong. 

The Heroic Battle 

Meanwhile, Apex has funded a team of researchers to follow King Kong to the center of the Earth. They are in search of a power source they say they hope will help stop Godzilla. The researchers find this mysterious source of energy along with an ax made from the fin of a different Godzilla.

Kong and Godzilla, who have fought twice so far in the film, face off for a final battle in Hong Kong. They brawl in the neon-lit city and end up severely injured. Mechagodzilla, a telepathically controlled machine-made monster designed by Apex is released to destroy Godzilla. However, the energy source powering Mechagodzilla is unstable. Madison, Bernie and Josh watch from the control room as King Kong and Godzilla team up to fight the mechanical beast in an awe-inspiring turn of events. 

A Hopeful Signal for Movie-goers 

The movie was released on March 24 and earned over 120 million dollars its first weekend, making it the biggest opening for a movie released during the pandemic. Like most monster movies, the subject matter, dialogue and plot were far from profound or groundbreaking. It’s clear that the timing of its release can be credited for the film’s success. It’s been a difficult year and delays in production and movie releases have left viewers largely disappointed. The epic colors, iconic characters and entertainment value of this movie seemed to be just what we needed, and the high turnout is a sign that audiences might just be ready to return to theaters. “Godzilla vs. Kong” is playing worldwide and can be streamed on HBO Max