Audiences might not being seeing the anticipated giant monster grudge match Godzilla Versus Kong at their local theater but on a streaming service next year.
The Hollywood Reporter is stating that their sources have told them that producers Legendary Pictures has already received one bid for the film, but that the film’s distributor, Warner Brothers, may be planning their own counteroffer.
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.”
This news comes in the wake of Warner Brothers surprise announcement last week that they will rollout both theatrically and on HBO Max simultaneously.
If the Netflix offer is real, it could be an attractive one for Legendary. The company footed 75% of the bill for Godzilla Versus King Kong, with Warners picking up the remaining 25%. While there has been no actual budget for the film reported, judging from what was spent on the previous three MonsterVerse entries – Godzilla, King Kong, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters – it most likely is somewhere in neighborhood of $190 to $200 million. This could be the better move financially for Legendary. Even if recently announced potential coronavirus vaccines prove to be effective, it remains questionable that theaters could be open at large enough capacity to give Legendary and Warner Brothers a chance at making a profit. Pushing the release of the film back further runs the risk of having to fight for people’s admission dollars as a number of blockbusters delayed from 2020 start landing in theaters.
Alternately, since Warner Brothers controls the film’s distribution, if they acquire it for HBO Max, they could very likely include a theatrical release component in their plans, similar to their Christmas release plans for Wonder Woman 1984.
Currently, the film is set for a theatrical release May 21. 2020 opening.
In some ways, is will be disappointing if Godzilla Versus King Kong bypasses theaters entirely. A good portion of the fun of giant monster movies is getting to watch all the visual effects with the creatures battling it out while the puny humans below run for safety. They are big characters who really need to be on the big screen and some of the impact of the film will definitely be lost by viewing it at home, no matter how good a home theater system a person has.