Nothing says Easter tentpole quite like Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which is set to conquer the world with a box office debut around $135M, bolstered by 63 foreign markets and 3,850 theaters stateside.

Warner Bros had great fortune in releasing the Legendary IP during Easter 2021 with Godzilla vs. Kong, luring audiences back to moviegoing after a year’s Covid quarantine, and the studio opted to stick to that frame. Godzilla vs. Kong made $48M in a stateside five-day launch, day-and-date with a drop on HBO Max at the time. If these domestic figures for New Empire hold up, it will rep the third-biggest stateside opening for the Monsterverse after 2014’s Godzilla ($93.1M) and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island ($61M). Previews in U.S. and Canada start at 3 p.m. Thursday, and New Empire will have all the nuclear powers of premium ticket upcharges, i.e. Imax, PLF, 4DX, ScreenX, DBox, etc. Legendary/Warner Bros’ other hit movie Dune: Part Two will retain some Imax screens over the holiday weekend.

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Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire cost a net of $135M before P&A, 75% funded by Legendary, with Warner Bros covering 25%.

Filmmaker Adam Wingard’s second Godzilla-Kong movie after the 2021 edition begins its overseas rollout on Wednesday with such majors as Spain and Korea before adding Italy, Australia and all of Latin America on Thursday. On Friday, the UK and China join the fray.

The international launch is eyed in the $80M-$85M range, while domestic is around $50M, per presales. Godzilla vs. Kong debuted to $105M in like-for-like overseas markets at today’s rates (including $63M from China, also at today’s exchange). So why is this one looking at a potentially softer opening? There are a number of factors.

When it released in March 2021, GvK bagged the then-biggest overseas debut of a Hollywood title during the pandemic, and in just 38 international box office markets.

That movie had a particularly good start in China (where Legendary markets and distributes its modern monster series). But times have changed, and caution prevails as Hollywood films are doing far less business in the Middle Kingdom. GxK is leading advance ticket sales heading into the weekend, but it remains to be seen if a start around $40M is feasible.

Here are some China opening comps in restated dollars: Kong: Skull Island ($68M), Godzilla vs. Kong ($63M), The Meg 2 ($53M), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom ($31M) and Dune : Part Two ($20M) — that paints a picture.

We still expect GxK to excel in Asia (though in Korea it will likely land at No. 3 behind juggernaut Exhuma and a new local title) as well as in Latin America. Europe can be mixed on the franchise.