Even while debuting on HBO Max, the new MORTAL KOMBAT had the second-best theatrical opening of the pandemic.

Get over here, movie audiences!

After a year of pandemic lows, movie theaters in North America are booming once again. It’s still relative compared to pre-pandemic levels but, on pandemic terms, the theater industry is blockbusting all over the place.

Following the recent success of Godzilla vs. Kong, the overall landscape just keeps getting better. This past weekend, not one but two new movies boasted very impressive debuts. Both rank among the best over the past year since multiplexes first closed.

Leading the pack was the gory, ultra-violent R-rated reboot of Mortal Kombat. Opening on over 3,000 screens, it hauled in $22.5 million dollars, the second best pandemic debut behind only Godzilla vs. Kong‘s $31 million. And like GvK, it achieved that while launching simultaneously on at-home streamer HBO Max.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the Japanese anime action movie Demon Slayer exceeded all expectations with a shocking $15.9 million premiere weekend on 1600 screens. The surprise sensation has amassed $400 million globally, equal to the worldwide total that Godzilla vs. Kong has now reached as well.

In total, the domestic box office earned $54.2 million, another strong sign of a consistent rebound (even as theaters remain at limited capacity). It’s a trend that’s likely to keep going as the market heads into summer and COVID vaccinations continue to become more widespread.

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