'Godzilla x Kong’ Maintains Box-office Dominion in 2nd Weekend

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Godzilla, left, and Kong in a scene from "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire." (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Godzilla, left, and Kong in a scene from "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire." (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
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'Godzilla x Kong’ Maintains Box-office Dominion in 2nd Weekend

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Godzilla, left, and Kong in a scene from "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire." (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Godzilla, left, and Kong in a scene from "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire." (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” easily swatted away a pair of challengers to hold on to the top spot at the box office for the second week in a row, according to studio estimates Sunday.
After its above-expectations $80 million launch last weekend, the MonsterVerse mashup brought in $31.7 million over its second weekend, a 60% drop from its debut, The Associated Press reported. The Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures release, directed by Adam Wingard, has thus far outperformed any of the studio’s recent monster films except for 2014’s “Godzilla.”
But with $361.1 million worldwide in two weeks, “Godzilla x Kong” could ultimately leapfrog the $529 million global haul of 2014’s “Godzilla.” The latest installment, in which Godzilla and Kong team up, cost about $135 million to produce.
“Godzilla x Kong” extended its box-office reign as another primate-themed movie arrived in theaters. Dev Patel’s “Monkey Man,” an India-set revenge thriller released by Universal Pictures, opened in 3,029 North American theaters with an estimated $10.1 million.
That marked a strong debut for Patel’s modestly budgeted directorial debut in which he stars in a bloody, politically charged action extravaganza. “Monkey Man,” which cost about $10 million to make, was dropped by its original studio, Netflix, after which Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions swooped in.
The weekend’s other new wide release, “The First Omen,” from Disney's 20th Century Studios, struggled to make a big impact with moviegoers. It came in fourth with an estimated $8.4 million in ticket sales in 3,375 theaters, while collecting an additional $9.1 million overseas. The R-rated horror film, which cost about $30 million to make, is a prequel to the 1976 Richard Donner-directed original starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick.
This version, directed by Arkasha Stevenson and starring Nell Tiger Free, Tawfeek Barhom and Bill Nighy, follows 2006’s “The Omen,” which opened to $16 million and ultimately grossed $119 million.
The tepid opening for “The First Omen” allowed Sony's “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” to take third place with $9 million in its third weekend of release. The sci-fi comedy sequel has collected $88.8 million domestically and $138 million worldwide.
Warner Bros.’ “Dune: Part Two” continues to perform strongly. It added $7.2 million in its sixth week, dipping just 37%, to bring its domestic total to $264 million.
One of the week's biggest performers was in China, where Hayao Miyazaki's Oscar-winning “The Boy and the Heron” landed in theaters. The acclaimed Japanese anime is setting records for a non-Chinese animated film. After opening Wednesday, its five-day total surpassed $70 million, a new high mark for Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.



Spanish Fan Shows Off His Taylor Swift 'Sanctuary' Before Madrid Gig

Roberto Santos, 55, a Spanish superfan who is part of a select list of fans who receives exclusive gifts from the pop icon, poses in his "Taylor Swift shrine" in his home in Madrid, Spain, May 21, 2024. REUTERS/Juan Medina
Roberto Santos, 55, a Spanish superfan who is part of a select list of fans who receives exclusive gifts from the pop icon, poses in his "Taylor Swift shrine" in his home in Madrid, Spain, May 21, 2024. REUTERS/Juan Medina
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Spanish Fan Shows Off His Taylor Swift 'Sanctuary' Before Madrid Gig

Roberto Santos, 55, a Spanish superfan who is part of a select list of fans who receives exclusive gifts from the pop icon, poses in his "Taylor Swift shrine" in his home in Madrid, Spain, May 21, 2024. REUTERS/Juan Medina
Roberto Santos, 55, a Spanish superfan who is part of a select list of fans who receives exclusive gifts from the pop icon, poses in his "Taylor Swift shrine" in his home in Madrid, Spain, May 21, 2024. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Roberto Santos, 55, stands out among other "Swifties" for his decades-long devotion to American pop icon Taylor Swift and a plethora of gifts the Spaniard has received from her team in recognition of that - enough to fill up an apartment room he calls a sanctuary.
As Swift, 34, was preparing to play her Eras Tour gigs in Madrid on Wednesday and Thursday, Santos, who runs a dental prosthetics lab in Spain's capital, solemnly displayed the items, including Swift's limited-edition platinum disk award, signed photos, recordings, and sneakers bearing both their names, said Reuters.
"Sometimes I wake up at night, turn on the light and look a little, and say to myself: 'What are you doing?'... I just look, it gives me calm, and I go back to sleep," Santos said in an interview.
"For me she means everything; I've been following her since before 2011... I had the gut feeling that she was going to be big. If I had the same intuition with the lottery, I'd be rich," Santos said.
He said going to see her perform in Dublin in 2018 made him the only person to have traveled twice from Spain for a Swift show. Her management team then added Santos and his wife Inmaculada to an exclusive fan list, and sent them gifts and invitations, including an all-paid trip to Los Angeles last year, Santos said.
"If I was 18 or 20, I imagine I could go a bit crazy... but now everything feels more mature and calm," said Santos, who has Swift-themed tattoos on his arms and ankle.
He has yet to meet her in person. A planned meeting in Oslo was canceled due to the pandemic.
Santos is particularly thankful to Swift and her team for thinking about older fans, and for "the values she has transmitted" through her art.
Swift's record-breaking Eras Tour has boosted local economies. In Madrid, hotel occupancy rates have climbed to 90% on average for the concert dates.