It’s officially 2021, and if 2020’s global pandemic didn’t cause enough chaos, destruction and desolation, HBO’s release of “Godzilla vs. Kong” certainly will. We’ve been subjected to brawls between Nate Robinson and Jake Paul, McGreggor and Cormier and the battle of the old men, Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson. Arguably, quarantine has given us an appetite for watching two warriors beat the hell out of each other for our own personal enjoyment.
But what could possibly be bigger than these noteworthy boxing matches? HBO believes the two most iconic monsters in movie history fit the bill, forcing them head-to-head in this most recent installment of the monster movie genre. The trailer, dropping on Jan. 24, racked up a massive 19 million views on the first day, proving there is clearly an audience ready to indulge in the CGI orgy teased in the trailer. In fact, the last three installments of these monsterverse films have proven the audiences loyalty. Although they are not usually the most critically acclaimed films, “Godzilla,” “Kong: Skull Island” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” all grossed $529 million, $566 million and $386 million, respectively. Imagine the numbers a collaboration between these two could produce.
HBO has set the release date on their streaming service and in theaters for March 26, 2021, and anticipation is already building online. Twitter has exploded with ideas and theories about the outcome as the trailer promises, “ONE WILL FALL.” Obviously, we all are entitled to our own speculation, whether in favor of our favorite monster or trying to consider which monster is most financially valuable to the studio for years to come. Personally, the outcome is not particularly important to me, but the numbers Kong put up in one film compared to that of Godzilla in two suggest the odds may be in the favor of the giant gorilla, not to mention the trailer depicts Kong as the more sympathetic of the two.
Regardless, HBO can expect to continue their hot streak of big numbers. From the release of “Wonder Woman: 1984” to the upcoming release of Denzel Washington’s new serial killer film, “The Little Things” and the eventual release of the highly anticipated correction to the disaster that was “The Justice League,” “The Snyder Cut,” HBO is on a hot streak; there is no way around it. This monster film promises big numbers for them and ultimately may lead to streaming dominance.
In fact, the only thing that may cause more destruction to a city than a massive monster battle between Godzilla and Kong is the streaming service’s destructive impact to the movie theater industry. How can a potentially compromised gathering spot like a movie theater compete with a major streaming site like HBO, when most of their revenue comes from concessions and higher ticketing costs? Why would the consumer put themselves at risk to attend a theater and pay over priced concessions when they could benefit from an entire month of HBO Max for the price of one night at the theater? But I digress.
Overall, this CGI monster fest promises to do big things both for the streaming site and for the future of the monster genre. One will fall; one will stand victorious. Unfortunately, the biggest fall will ultimately be the destruction of a beloved member of the entertainment industry which has been brutalized by the COVID-19 pandemic and the “innovations” that arouse the greed of streaming platforms. But in terms of our topical characters, Godzilla and Kong, only one shall survive.