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11 Most Financially Successful Movies Released During the Pandemic

While the entire industry was forced to shut down production, some chose to wait out the pandemic by pushing release dates, others chose to make the most of the trapped audience while the world was trapped in front of their TVs. Coping with the changing realities of the pandemic meant that studios and distributors were incentivized to release movies via streaming or on demand on the same day as the cinematic release, heralding the short-lived era of ‘day and date’ cinema.

Related:Box Office Flops That Are Really Worth Watching

With the rare exception, the pandemic box office has been dominated by sequels, cinematic universes, and existing IP. Taking global gross revenue into account, here are the most successful movies released during our lockdown period.

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Wonder Woman 1984 — $166 million

WW - 1984 - Gal Gadot

Starring Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiigthe sequel to the hugely successful 2017 Wonder Woman received mixed reviews upon release early in the pandemic.

As one of the first major releases of the ‘day and date’ release era via HBOMax, Wonder Woman 1984 didn’t get a wide cinematic release, but was used to launch the revamped streaming service.

The Suicide Squad – $167 million

Suicide squad 2021

Director James Gunn intended to revive the DC Comics franchise that spawned the widely criticized 2016 suicide squadAlso premiering on HBOMax The Suicide Squad was a carefully calculated reinterpretation of the property, as this time the film successfully blends the grim violence with offbeat comedy that the first film aspired to.

Even an HBOMax spin-off for John Cena as a peacemakerthe modest box office doesn’t quite tell about the film’s success with both audiences and critics.

A Quiet Place, Part II – $297 million

A Quiet Place, Part II

​​​​​Helped by Hollywood power couple, star Emily Blunt and Director/Co-star John Krasinskicthe sequel to the hit of 2018 A quiet place nearly surpassed its predecessor, even during a pandemic.

The modern prestige horror subgenre has proved financially viable, continuing the trend of similar hits such as hereditarymidsummer or Out

Basic principle – $363 million

Tenet - John David Washington

Starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson next Elizabeth Debickithe last access to Christopher Nolan‘s trademark slick sci-fi canon was both written and directed by nolan.

With the usual mind-boggling, high-level concepts, premise of Nolan’s work, the film’s unique take on time travel, interspersed with grounded action, this movie made a must-see for a pandemic.

Dune – $400 million

Timothée-Chalamet Dune

Timothy Chalemet led the way for the latest adaptation of Frank Herbert‘s classic sci-fi epic, starring the messianic Paul Atreides. Of Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson also with major roles, the stacked cast and award-winning visual effects were enough to give the film the green light for a highly anticipated sequel.

Related: The Top Grossing Cinematographers of All Time at the Domestic Box Office

Plus notable performances from Josh Brolin and Jason Mamoathe film also earned 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, which won for Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Cinematography.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – $432 million

Shang-Chi fights on a bus cropped

While it was far from the usual billion-dollar Marvel box office of recent years, even the pandemic couldn’t stop audiences from the studio’s latest entry. Released exclusively in cinemas, starring the superhero and martial arts film crossover Simu Liu as the titular Shang-Chi.

Also with awkwafinaplus powerful performances from Tony Leung and Michelle YeoThe film was largely well received by Marvel fans and critics alike.

godzilla vs. Kong — $468 million

Godzilla vs Kong

The sequel to the 2017 Kong: Skull Island and the 2019 Godzilla: King of Monstersthis clash of the iconic giants reached nearly half a billion dollars at the box office while the world was still deep in the middle of the pandemic.

As a day and date release on HBOMax and on demand, the film was released in theaters at the same time, making its financial success even more surprising.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage – $506 million

venom-let-there-be-carnage-tom-hardy-social-featured Cropped

The Tom Hardy starring sequel to the 2018 venomLet there be a bloodbath wanted to continue the Spider-man villain-led cinematic universe in the making at Sony. Introduce Woody Harrelson as serial killer Cletus Kasady, the sequel kept the same campy energy of the first film.

Related: 2021 Movies with the Biggest Budgets, Ranked

Avoiding much of the demise of the later entry into the Sony series, morbiusVenom 2 instead gained the public’s favor by focusing on the fun tone and performances of the original.

F9: The Fast Saga – $726 million

John Cena & Vin Diesel

Far from the humble roots of the series, the latest entry in the franchise now features a vast roster of friends and foes alike, including Cardi BHelen MirrenKurt Russell and Charlie Theron.

Introduce John Cena like a long-lost Torretto brother, the franchise’s ninth entry continued its expansion into the world of high-tech cybercriminals and international spies. With the same focus on family and bringing back once-dead characters while completely reinventing others, the franchise still excels behind the wheel.

No time to die – $774 million

no-time-to-die-daniel-craig-ana-de-armas

The latest entry in the modern Bond franchise held out for nearly two years before a full international cinematic release for Daniel Craig‘s last appearance after a decade in the tuxedo.

With the first nasty turn for Oscar winner Rami MalekLashana Lynch like the new 007 and Ana’s Arms as a rookie spy, the film earns nearly three hours of running time while attempting to respect the entire franchise, closing out the character’s modern incarnation.

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