Hollywood was in an upheaval when WarnerMedia recently announced that it will be sending all of its upcoming movies to HBO Max at the same time as their theatrical release. One of those movies happens to be Godzilla vs. Kong, which was primarily financed by Legendary Pictures. A report by Deadline that the only way Legendary will allow the movie to go to HBO Max is if Warner coughs up more than $250 million, which was the price offered by Netflix previously for the film.
"Godzilla Vs Kong might stay an HBO Max hybrid in its May 21 slot, but only if Warner Bros makes a deal with Legendary that uses as a base the $250 million value established when the film was shopped earlier to Netflix."
Naturally, Warner will have to think long and hard over such a giant price tag. When the studio announced that all their upcoming movies would debut on HBO Max at the same time as in theaters, it was understood that the decision would lead to massive losses in box-office earnings, and the only gain would be in terms of new subscribers to HBO Max.
It would be even more of a loss for Warner to pony up an extra $250 million to Legendary, especially for a movie that is the fourth in a franchise that has not been particularly well-received so far. The previous movie in the series, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, opened to mixed reviews, and was a box-office disappointment, grossing $386 million worldwide against a budget between $170-200 million.
Still, even though the previous films were not as successful as hoped, there is a great deal of excitement for Godzilla vs. Kong, based on the strength of the popularity of the two titular monsters alone. Godzilla and King Kong have fought once before in live-action, in the 1962 film King Kong vs. Godzilla.
But that was simply two dudes in rubber costumes fighting in a miniature city made of cardboard. The upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong promises state-of-the-art special effects and CGI that will finally be able to do justice to the true scope of a brawl between the giant ape and the giant lizard. Now that Godzilla has been named leader of the Kaijus in King of the Monsters, he is coming to Skull Island to take on Kong himself, who has no intention of bending the knee before the giant lizard without a fight.
If ever a movie was designed to be seen on the big screen, it would have to be Godzilla vs. Kong. But the film has already been delayed so many times that fans will just be thankful to finally get to see it, even if it's streaming on HBO Max, something fans don't seem to be happy with. It now remains to be seen whether Legendary and Warner will be able to put their differences aside and come to some sort of resolution regarding the streaming rights.
Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, Godzilla vs. Kong stars Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Brian Tyree Henry. The film arrives May 21, 2021 in theaters and on HBO Max.