It looks like the next entry in the Monsterverse saga will have a new home. According to Hollywood Reporter, Netflix made an offer for over $200 million to get their hands on Warner Bros. Godzilla vs. Kong. Surprisingly, they declined the offer and are hoping for a bid by HBO Max to keep it in their own house. It is a curious move as Netflix would’ve covered 75% of the budget. Legendary still has plans to release the film in theaters, especially in international markets. A third of its Box Office was in China alone, which doesn’t have any Netflix presence. So, they might be hoping to still bank on that market potential outside of the US. Plus, this film combines two franchises in a massive crossover, which would surely draw attention to theaters.
The film is still slated for a May release next year. It is uncertain if theaters will open by then, so it is a risk to wait it out and not take the digital route. Godzilla vs. Kong‘s future is in Legendary’s hands, who decide its release even if they only have a 25% stake in the film. There is a good chance they’ll wait out the success of Wonder Woman 1984, which will have a theatrical and digital release simultaneously in December. They might be nervous about giving Netflix the release, as it could restrict their attempt at a theatrical release. Plus, their main goal is to grow the internal streaming service, so it would be a waste not to use such a tentpole franchise to draw in new subscribers. Godzilla: King of Monsters sadly underperformed, so there was hope that this crossover could bring more attention to the franchise. Yet, this decision could make it difficult to determine if the Monsterverse will continue beyond this entry.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, Digital Spy