After a strong international performance early last month, and better than predicted opening weekend in North America: Mortal Kombat has taken a steep drop in its second week at the domestic box office. The brutal ten-day drop is in stark contrast to the lingering resilience of Warner Brothers' other big screen franchise brawler: Godzilla vs Kong. Read on for details:
Forbes reports the dramatic drop in trade for Mortal Kombat, calculating a 79% downturn Friday to Friday with only $1.85 million grossed in the second week. The takings kept MK narrowly ahead of anime rival Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train, which dropped 81% with $1.81 million.
The general impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public confidence shouldn't be overlooked, but Forbes analysis presents a case for a more broad decline in interest, based on fan-driven audience appeal in the first week, and tepid reviews that broadly described the movie as appealing to fans of the games -- an idea challenged by MK Online's review, among others. The film currently has a 54% freshness from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with a more favourable 86% fan score.
Mortal Kombat is reportedly HBO Max's most watched programming so far, which Forbes speculates reflects casual interest and a minimum of impact on theatrical business, where movies like Godzilla vs Kong and Tom and Jerry maintained more consistent theatrical trade. Godzilla vs Kong picked up another $700,000 in its fifth Friday at US theatres, reach $400 million worldwide.
Forbes draws comparisons with 2016's sharp 81% decline in first week trade for Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Warcraft's 70% fall from a $24 million opening in that same year. Wonder Woman 1984 was another pandemic-era franchise release that saw a similar drop.
It's too soon to count Mortal Kombat out, with potential for continued trade in the coming weeks, but a wave of major new releases are rapidly approaching and expected to draw interest elsewhere. The movie seems likely to remain solvent, with popular casting rumors and the promise of unused characters & concepts likely to boost sequel chances.
[Related Article: UK Mortal Kombat Digital Rental Premieres Next Week]
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