Godzilla vs. Kong vs. the Pandemic

Adam Wingard’s monster mash Godzilla vs. Kong has become the first true blockbuster of the pandemic era. According to the Box Office Mojo, the most recent installment of the Monsterverse franchise grossed around $32 million in its inaugural weekend in US cinemas – impressive by the standards of the new normal. However, it was overseas where Godzilla vs. Kong made a killing. After grossing $121.8 million abroad last weekend, it added another $115.1 million this week. Its current total global haul stands at $285.4 million. These are pre-pandemic amounts of money!

In second place at the weekend box office is The Unholy, a low-budget horror movie produced by Sam Raimi. A feature film debut by the screenwriter Evan Spiliotopoulos (Beauty and the Beast, Hercules, The Huntsman: Winter’s War) follows a journalist (played by Jeffery Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead) investigating supposed miracles in a small New England town. In its inaugural weekend, The Unholy earned $3,1 million. In its second week in cinemas, action thriller Nobody starring Bob Odenkirk dropped to third place, earning $3 million. Raya and the Last Dragon is fourth, with a bit over $2 million. And finally, in fifth place at the weekend box office is Tom and Jerry with $1,4 million.

Netflix Lead in Streaming Wars is Shrinking

Streaming giant Netflix may not be that much of a giant anymore. SlashFilm reports its lead over other streaming services has shrunk. Netflix used to hold around 29 percent of the US streaming market. However, even as subscription numbers rose throughout the pandemic by over 36 million accounts (bringing it up to over 200 million), its market hold dropped to 20 percent. In a similar vein, Amazon Prime Video’s market share dropped from 21 percent down to 16 percent. They are still major services: Netflix currently has around 203 million subscribers and Amazon 150 million.

The reason for this change is two-fold. As cinemas and other public venues began closing due to lockdowns, demand for entertainment rapidly rose, leading to an expansion in the streaming market. And then there’s the growing competition by new services like WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock and – especially – Disney Plus. As we reported earlier, Disney hoped to reach 90 million subscribers by the end of 2024. Instead, it had 86 million subscribers one year after its launch. While streaming wars will continue, Netflix is gradually losing its lead.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Goes to Kickstarter Again

Joel Hodgson and his team just launched a crowdsourcing campaign to revive the cult classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000. SlashFilm reports they want to produce more episodes of MST3K and create something called The Gizmoplex – essentially, a virtual theater for hosting live screenings and watch parties. If they manage to raise $3,3 million, the goal is to develop apps bringing The Gizmoplex to mobile devices and TVs. The campaign launched on April 7. A day later, it already collected $1,7 million from 8,600 backers.

In 1988 Hodgson helped create Mystery Science Theater 3000 – a show about a prisoner aboard the space station forced to watch and make fun of old cheesy science fiction movies accompanied only by robots he built. His show became a cult classic, running for ten seasons.

In 2015, he organized the first crowdsourcing campaign to revive the cult series. It became one of the most successful ones in Kickstarter history, raising $2 million within the first seven days and reaching over $5,7 million in total. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return premiered on Netflix in 2017, where it ran for two seasons.