Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment have delayed Godzilla vs. Kong from its March 13, 2020 release date to Nov. 20. The film is set to be the fourth entry in Legendary’s MonsterVerse following 2014’s Godzilla, 2017’s Kong: Skull Island and this year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. However, after the latest franchise installment sputtered with just $385 million worldwide against a hefty $200 million budget, the studios are rethinking their strategy.
It makes sense that director Adam Wingard and company would want to retool the blockbuster crossover and deliver the best product possible after such a misfire. It’s also reasonable to expect Godzilla and King Kong will carry more name power with general audiences than King of the Monsters co-stars, such as Mothra and King Ghidorah. But will an eight-month delay save the franchise?
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Godzilla ($524 million) hit theaters before 2015’s Jurassic World went supernova at the box office ($1.6 billion). Kong: Skull Island ($566 million) arrived before 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($1.3 billion) cemented the dino franchise’s comeback. Now that we’re guaranteed a Jurassic World 3 (and possibly more), there may not be room at the multiplex for more than one mega monster movie franchise. It’s similar to how Star Trek‘s cinematic comeback was stunted by the return of Star Wars—audiences have established a pecking order for their genre tentpoles.
The good news for Warner Bros. and Legendary is that Godzilla vs. Kong now owns a solid release date on the calendar. As of now, the only blockbuster competition will be Marvel’s Eternals (Nov. 6) and WB’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 (Nov. 13), which could also move. As long as the studios don’t spend a fortune reshaping Godzilla vs. Kong and deliver a more crowd-pleasing product than the last effort (which holds a 41% on Rotten Tomatoes), then it could be in decent shape.