Mortal Kombat beat out Dune, Godzilla vs Kong, and The Matrix Resurrections for the best opening weekend on HBO Max with over 3 million viewers.
Mortal Kombat has emerged as the victor of the 2021 Warner Bros. released films on HBO Max with the most viewers. Towards the end of 2020, Warner Bros. parent company WarnerMedia decided to premiere their entire 2021 film slate in theaters and on HBO Max alongside Wonder Woman 1984 for Christmas of 2020. The move was a controversial one but one that Warner Bros. saw as a way to not only drive subscribers for their new streaming service but also as a way to give audiences the option to choose how to see movies safely during the uncertain COVID-19 crisis.
Warner Bros. released a wide array of films on HBO Max through the year, from highly anticipated franchise installments like The Matrix Ressurection and The Suicide Squad, to adult-skewing films like King Richard and The Many Saints of Newark, to family-friendly offerings like Tom & Jerry and Space Jam: A New Legacy. While some films like Godzilla vs Kong and Dune were box office hits, others like In The Heights and The Suicide Squad suffered at the box office for being available to stream at home. With Warner Bros. and HBO Max’s experimental year now over, the streaming numbers have been gathered, and it appears the winner is Mortal Kombat.
According to Business Insider, of the entire 2021 Warner Bros. slate released on HBO Max, Mortal Kombat had the best weekend of any of the Warner Bros. releases on HBO Max with a total of 3.8 million viewers. The data was provided by SambaTV, which had records for all Warner Bros. films released on HBO Max in their first four days of release based on a household watching at least five minutes of the movie, and the data is limited to connected-TV devices in the US, such as Roku and gaming consoles. Coming in second place was Godzilla vs Kong with 3.6 million in its first five days, followed by The Suicide Squad in number 3 with 2.8 million households and The Matrix Ressurection fourth with 2.8 million over a five day stretch. The lowest number went to Judas and the Black Messiah, which garnered 653,000 households. However, no data was published for Reminsance, which could be a lower viewed film.
Mortal Kombat being the top film on HBO Max makes a certain amount of sense, given the film was an R-rated project, so a good portion of the audiences may not have been able to see it in theaters but could stream it at home. The other factor is, like Godzilla vs Kong, the film opened earlier in the year when many theaters weren’t open, so streaming Mortal Kombat may have been the only way to see it. Plus, given the rollout of the vaccine was still in the early phases, audiences may have been more comfortable streaming the film at home, whereas later releases like Dune and The Matrix Ressurection were released later in the year.
Mortal Kombat had a reported budget of $55 million, and while the film only made $42 million domestically, it did manage to bring in a worldwide gross of $83 million. Combining that with the HBO Max viewership numbers, Warner Bros. likely sees the movie as successful, and the future of the franchise might be on HBO Max instead of the theatrical market. HBO Max is looking to make more original films for their streaming service, and reportedly multiple Mortal Kombat movies are in development, so the franchise might be the perfect fit for the streaming service.
Source: Business Insider
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