Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in March, 2020, the film industry hasn’t exactly been at its strongest. Because of lockdowns, mask mandates, and quarantining, not many people have visited cinemas. Because of this, feature films have typically either been released on streaming services, suffered in theaters, or both. Over the last few months, Covid restrictions have been lessened, resulting in a gradual return to theaters. The ten highest grossing feature films of the pandemic are as follows:
10. Godzilla Vs Kong ($99 million)
Following the success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe formula, other studios decided to craft their own connecting blockbuster series. One of these is Warner Brothers’ Monsterverse, containing Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2018), and finally, the long awaited 2021 crossover, Godzilla Vs Kong. This film was released earlier this year while Covid-19 was still in full swing, and was also available via the HBO Max streaming service.
9. Jungle Cruise ($116 million)
Disney’s Jungle Cruise is similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in the sense that it is also based on a Disney theme park ride. It received moderate commercial success (considering the pandemic) but gained mixed reviews from critics and audiences.
8. Free Guy ($121 million)
Free Guy, a Truman Show-like meta action comedy, was received positively by critics and viewers alike. Free Guy’s cast was seemingly its biggest draw, which caused it commercial success.
7. Marvel’s Eternals ($135 million)
Eternals is the first Marvel film on this list, but is sadly not the only one. Eternals was and continues to be a financial success (of course it was, it’s Marvel), but received mostly negative reviews from critics. Regardless of reviews, it still managed to make this list (again, because “Marvel” is in the title).
6. A Quiet Place Part II ($160 million)
The entertaining 2018 horror-thriller, A Quiet Place didn’t really need a sequel, but because of its financial and critical success, it received one. Part II performed quite well in theaters, despite its mixed online reviews.
5. Black Widow ($183 million)
Being another Marvel film, Black Widow received much attention, starring a character who should have gotten her own prequel ten years ago (I suppose they’re running out of ideas). Black Widow was the first Marvel film since 2019, and was also released on the Disney + streaming platform in addition to theaters.
4. Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($206 million)
Let There Be Carnage follows 2018’s poorly reviewed Venom, and has recently passed the $200 million mark. The 2021 sequel was seen in a much more positive light, and continues to profit in theaters.
3. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($225 Million)
This is another Marvel film, so it’s not shocking that it made all of the big money in September, 2021.
2. F9: The Fast Saga ($725 million)
F9 served as the “conclusion” (there will probably be more) to the Fast and Furious series. The main reason it got as much attention as it did was the “family” memes popping up all over the internet at the time of its theatrical run. Although critics weren’t satisfied by F9’s plot, audiences didn’t seem to care very much (it’s Fast and Furious, people only really care about the car stunts).
- 007: No Time to Die ($733 million)
The finale of Daniel Craig’s variant of James Bond is the most successful picture since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 25th movie based off of the 007 Intellectual Property, No Time to Die is the series’ biggest success since 2012’s Skyfall.
It is apparent due to the successes of F9: The Fast Saga and 007: No Time to Die that the film industry has returned from its massive 2020 box office slump. Going forward, Marvel plans to release a fifth film this year, namely Spider-Man: No Way Home and given how popular the Spider-Man IP is, it is highly plausible that it could be the first feature film to break $1 billion in over two years. Nevertheless, Hollywood seems to be recovering from the unfortunate effect that Covid-19 had on the film industry.