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Are We About To See “Godzilla vs. Kong” Go The Streaming Route?

2020 has been a tough year for blockbusters. Basically, almost any big budget film has moved to next year or opted to debut on a streamer. Even some of the potential 2021 titles are starting to think about this, with COVID-19 still an issue and theaters likely to stay partially closed for some time to come. Now, we can add another big movie to this list, with the crossover sequel Godzilla vs. Kong highly likely to be the next title skipping theaters. In fact, there could be a competition for its rights going on right now. Read on for more on this rumored development…

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is considering an offer from Netflix in excess of $200 million to take the rights to Godzilla vs. Kong. However, considering that WB does also have HBO Max as its streaming arm, that does appear like the streamer that will ultimately end up with it. Still, any streaming service ending up with this flick is a big deal, as it would be one of the biggest ever to go this route.

Here’s a bit from the THR story:

Godzilla vs. Kong, the forthcoming monster movie from Legendary Pictures, looks likely to be the latest big franchise movie to head to a streamer.

Knowledgeable sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Netflix has made an offer of more than $200 million for the film while WarnerMedia has blocked the deal while preparing an offer of its own for its streamer, HBO Max. Legendary declined to comment while a Warner Bros. spokesperson said: “We plan to release Godzilla vs. Kong theatrically next year as scheduled.”

The Netflix offer undoubtedly had allure for Legendary, which financed 75 percent of the budget. As Netflix does not have a presence in China, the film could have played theatrically there.

The monsterverse movies, which are the cornerstone of Legendary’s slate, are big international players, especially in China: Just over a third of King of the Monsters’ $386 million global box office came from the movie’s China release. Skull Island grossed $168 million in China, about 30 percent of the movie’s $567 million gross.

Godzilla vs. Kong, the fourth entry in the series, is slated for a May 21, 2021 opening but it is far from clear that U.S. theaters will be fully back in business by then and even if they are, the studios face a pile-up of major releases that were pushed due to the pandemic. Meanwhile Legendary is stuck with the cost of carrying an unreleased big-budget film. Though Warner Bros. has only a 25 percent stake in the movie, it controls the release.

Decisions on the movie’s fate are being handled at the highest level, with WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar and Warner Bros. chairman Ann Sarnoff figuring out an offer for a streaming release on HBO Max that in theory also includes a theatrical component. (On Nov. 18, WarnerMedia said that tentpole Wonder Woman 1984 would bow in theaters on Dec. 25 and be available to stream on HBO Max in a deal that Kilar described as “unprecedented.”)

Stay tuned for more on Godzilla vs. Kong!

(Source: THR)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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