Mortal Kombat has done battle at the domestic box office and come out on top in its opening weekend. The fighting franchise's cinematic return continued a resurgence in theatrical takings and became the biggest R rated opener since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for more detail:
Deadline has a thorough report of the weekend which has been framed as a big screen battle between Mortal Kombat and Funimation anime feature film Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train. The two genre films combined to create the biggest weekend at the box office since the beginning of Covid concerns in March, 2020.
Mortal Kombat finished with $22.5 million, approximtely $3 million ahead of the potent animated opposition. They both edged out Warner Brothers' other cinematic over-achiever: Godzilla vs Kong. The kaiju grudge match was given an extra week to maximize its earnings with a delay in MK's release and that appears to be working for the two pictures.
Mortal Kombat was reportedly projected for a $15 million dollar weekend, continuing a trend for Warners of exceeding expectations. This success has been attributed to Worldwide Marketing President Josh Goldstine who had similar tentpole successes at Universal Studios and Sony Pictures.
The online release of the first seven minutes of the movie has been creditted with tripling ticket pre-sales, no doubt buoyed further by earlier buzz generated by previews for social media influencers. The prologue sequence is singled out as the film's strongest section in Mortal Kombat Online's review.
Deadline also provide an extensive breakdown of anecdotal ad spend, which purportedly targetted broad television markets with notable adult male demographics: "The studio ran spots on Telemundo, UniMas, Univision, Adult Swim, BET, MTV, Turner Sports, and the NBA, along with sponsorships on ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes. Mortal Kombat spots, according to iSpot, aired on such shows on College and NBA basketball, Family Guy, Ridiculousness, and Rick and Morty."
The article also notes various preview screenings for special interest groups, including multiple Asian American organizations. Though slow to release embargoed promotion, these screenings and early interview opportunities appeared to ease anxiety within the built-in audience, and no doubt contributed to box office confidence.
Mortal Kombat is anticipated to continue enjoying stronger foot traffic and follow-up business than its anime rival, also maximizing IMAX screenings without too much concern from the film's availability streaming to HBO Max. MK took $2.7 million from 375 auditoriums. In Canada, where COVID restrictions have reduced available box office to 20%, payed video on demand services brought in an additional $2 million on top of earlier international box office successes.
[Related Article: Variety Discusses Mortal Kombat Sequel with Simon McQuoid]
Mortal Kombat is now showing in cinemas around the world and streaming to HBO Max for 31 days in the United States only. Have you seen the film? Dive into the Media & Merchandise forum to share your experience and find more discussion!