Godzilla vs. Kong Still Undefeated
Not even the global pandemic could contain the fury of Godzilla vs. Kong. Ok, the fact that lockdowns are finally being lifted thanks to widespread vaccination may have helped the film somewhat. For the third weekend in a row, Legendary’s epic showdown of two classic movie monsters dominated the cinemas, grossing $7,8 million. According to the Box Office Mojo, Godzilla vs. Kong has earned $80,6 million domestically and another $391 million overseas. It has officially surpassed Tenet’s total overall gross of $363,6 million, becoming the most successful blockbuster movie of the COVID-19 era.
As for the remaining four titles among the top five highest-grossing movies of the weekend, there are no newcomers this week. Action thriller Nobody, featuring Bob Odenkirk from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, is once more at number two with $2,5 million. Its total gross currently stands at $19 million. Horror film The Unholy is in third place again, adding a bit over $2 million to its domestic gross of $9,5 million. In fourth place is Disney’s fantasy adventure Raya and the Last Dragon with $1,9 million, which raised its domestic haul to $37,7 million. Last week, this list ended with a science fiction movie Voyagers. However, this week it dropped to sixth place. Instead, Tom and Jerry managed to their way back into the top five by grossing $1,1 million. So far, Tom and Jerry has earned $42,6 million domestically.
Sony Signs a Major Licensing Deal With Disney Plus
Last week, Sony signed a major deal with Netflix bringing its latest theatrical releases onto the world’s most popular streaming service, starting next year. But Sony wasn’t done. SlashFilm reports the company signed another licensing deal – with Disney Plus. This five-year deal would allow Disney to show Sony’s latest titles across Disney-owned platforms in the United States; platforms like Disney Plus, Hulu, FX, etc.
So, what makes this deal different from the one with Netflix? That agreement gets the streaming service in the so-called Pay 1 window. It allows Netflix to start streaming movies by Sony 18 months after their premiere. A deal with Disney grants it licensing rights for the windows after Pay 1, when Sony titles will transfer from Netflix to Disney. From there on out, Mouse House can broadcast and stream them according to its whims.
Over the last several years, streaming became an increasingly important part of the entertainment distribution model. Last year’s outbreak of COVID-19 only accelerated this process as widespread lockdowns of cinemas and other public venues made the audience turn to platforms like Netflix for entertainment. However, unlike Disney or WarnerMedia, Sony wisely decided to sell its licensing rights instead of introducing yet another streaming platform in an increasingly saturated market.
Netflix to Spend $17 billion on Content This Year
In its recent financial report for the first quarter, Netflix stated it intended to spend up to $17 billion in cash on content in 2021. An article by Deadline cites the company’s statement:
“While the roll out of vaccines is very uneven across the world, we are back up and producing safely in every major market, with the exception of Brazil and India. Assuming this continues, we’ll spend over $17B in cash on content this year and we’ll continue to deliver an amazing range of titles for our members with more originals this year than last”.
Also, Ted Sarandos – Co-CEO of Netflix and its Chief Content Officer – assured investors new seasons of popular shows like Cobra Kai, The Witcher, and You would premiere by the end of 2021. As we reported in the past, the pandemic affected the production of The Witcher several times. Last March, the shoot stopped after actor Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones) caught COVID-19. It resumed in August 2020, only to be suspended again in November when several people working on set tested positive.
Still a leading streaming platform, Netflix has been increasing the amount of money it spends on content. The company invested $12 billion in 2018, $15 billion in 2019, and around $17 billion in 2020. For comparison, Disney Plus is looking to spend $8 billion per annum over the next several years.