‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ breaks 480m yuan mark in the Chinese mainland, becomes highest-grossing imported film of 2021
Published: Mar 28, 2021 07:15 PM

The Chinese poster for Godzilla vs. Kong 
Photo: Courtesy of Maoyan

The Chinese poster for Godzilla vs. Kong Photo: Courtesy of Maoyan

Hollywood blockbuster Godzilla vs. Kong hit cinemas in the Chinese mainland on Friday. The film has earned an estimated 480 million($73 million) after three days, making it the highest-grossing imported film since mainland cinemas reopened in July 2020.

The US monster movie, the fourth one in Legendary's MonsterVerse, enjoyed a more than 77 percent screenshare over the weekend. Some insiders predict that it will continue to perform well at the box office into next weekend, which will be a three-day long holiday as the traditional Qingming Festival falls on April 4 and no new competitive Chinese movies are set for release.

While the film is doing well financially, reviews are a bit more cooled off. 

On Chinese media review platform Douban, the movie has a 6.8/10 from almost 60,000 reviews as of Sunday.

Many reviewers commented that the movie's dazzling special effects and exciting fight scenes between the giant monsters were stunning and marked a great return for Hollywood spectacle even if the other parts of the film were not as captivating. 

"After watching the movie, I understand why online video platforms will never replace cinemas. I haven't felt so excited watching a movie in a cinema for a long time!" one reviewer wrote on Douban, praising the movie's special effects.

"The fight scenes are cool! But other parts, I think, lack logic and are a little boring," another review said.

"The theme and classic images of the two monsters in this movie arouse the interest of many young audiences and can stimulate the film market," Shi Chuan, vice chairman of the Shanghai Film Association, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Shi predicts that the film will be one of the highest-earning imported films of 2021.

This is the third Hollywood movie to release in the mainland since the start of the year and comes after the live-action/animated Tom and Jerry, which has only grossed a little over 100 million yuan after 31 days and also performed poorly, critically speaking.

Godzilla vs. Kong has also joined forces with the Beijing International Film Festival.

On the film's release day, an official exhibition for the film opened at a shopping center in Beijing as part of a special pilot exhibition of the 11th Beijing International Film Festival. The exhibition is scheduled to end on April 12.

Many reviewers and industry insiders in China are saying that the movie shows the strong advantages and capabilities of Hollywood when it comes to producing action movies and special effects heavy films, while also acting as a reminder to the Chinese movie industry of the importance of developing and improving film technologies in the industry.

Although recent Chinese comedy film Hi Mom managed to become the second-highest earning film in the mainland with a hilarious and touching story, special effects are the soul of blockbusters such as Godzilla vs. Kong and are also an area in which Chinese filmmakers need to improve, according to these experts.