Godzilla vs. Kong? In This Economy?


By: Isaac P. Ale

April 30, 2021

Godzilla vs. Kong 2 Godzilla vs. Kong [2021]

Film

Sure a lot of people watched Godzilla vs. Kong for the spectacle, but for a frugal person such as myself, I couldn't help but wonder, "oh gosh how much is that gonna cost?"

Therefore, welcome to Econ 101, where the rules are made up, the points don't matter, and we see just "how much money" Godzilla and King Kong cost us all.

A couple basic ideas:

  1. A lot of the "technology" in the film is made up nonsense, so I took the liberty to just throw out a comparison that I could use for determining the cost of such a thing.
  2. I probably missed a decent chunk of items, so this is not an exhaustive list nor should this be taken as gospel seeing as it is more of a guesstimate.

With that being established, let's walk-through the movie in chronological order and determine the cost of each portion of the film.

To begin, we have King Kong starring in his own Truman Show bubble, the likes of which is just laughable to have located just about anywhere. Now this one is tricky because Kong technically doesn't destroy the whole thing, he just whips a couple gigantic spears here and there to blow some holes in the roof. All in all, he chucks about 4-5 of these puppies through the jumbotron video panels in the bubble like he's John Elway or some shit, which doesn't destroy the whole bubble but the video boards are toast. So going off of what a huge jumbotron thing costs I'd look at the Los Angelos NFL stadium (So Fi Stadium), more specifically its ridiculous halo video board in the center of the field. After doing some internet sleuthing, it looks like the LA Rams declined to share the cost of such a board (why have it if you don't wanna brag about it?) but a CNBC article1 claims that it is about 3 times the size of the Dallas Cowboys jumbotron in AT&T stadium. That one cost about $40 million, so going off of that plus a boost of about $10 million to that base value for inflation we're looking at $50 million times 3 so a whopping total of $150 million per video board. Seeing as King Kong QB for the Denver Broncos trashed 4-5 of them, we'll do 4.5 just for the sake of this, he made those Monarch fools lose $675 million because nobody puts monkey in a bubble.

Next up we have Godzilla being a grumpy goose and destroying Apex Cybernetics company HQ in Pensacola Florida, because why wouldn't an evil company have a company headquarters in Florida? Here's another instance where Godzilla doesn't destroy the "entirety" of the compound due to its absurd sub-levels; so while the head quarters aren't a sprawling campus above ground, they certainly go deep beneath the surface. If I'm looking to base a cost value on a gigantic technology company's very fancy and expensive HQ than really I have nowhere else to look other than Apple Park in Cupertino California. Looking at a detailed report on the cost2 the sprawling building and area around it cost approximately $5 billion. So if we're saying Godzilla destroyed about half of the compound while the other half was intact and somehow operating as if nothing ever happened, we'd chalk this up to about $2.5 billion in damage. I'm not going to adjust anything for inflation because, now I'm just stipulating here, land and taxes are much lower in Pensacola Florida than Cupertino California.

Moving on, we get to the point where King Kong is getting an all expenses paid trip to beautiful Antarctica where there just so happens to be a tunnel to the center of the Earth. Of course Godzilla doesn't want King Kong to find out how lovely Antarctica is this time of year, some real Iceland/Greenland viking shit if you ask me, so the nuclear lizard attacks. This gets a little murky number-wise because I was trying to keep track of the explosions while enjoying the movie and drinking my beer so forgive me if I miss some. Basically Godzilla and King Kong's scuffle results in quite a few destroyers being blown up along with fighter jets and an aircraft carrier. I'm also going to include the fighter jets destroyed later in the film as well so that I don't have to backtrack and repeat this number crunching. From what I saw and counted, I was able to surmise that we had:

  • 7 fighter jets
  • 1 aircraft carrier
  • 5 destroyers

The fighter jets, assuming they are F-35's because why would we be using old jets when shooting missiles at a nuclear lizard, come it at a cool $100 million per plane3. Bringing that to a relaxing $700 million bill, which I'm sure Jeff Bezos finds in his couch cushions.

The aircraft carrier, again assuming it is the latest Ford class in the Navy, costs $12.8 billion4.

Lastly the 5 destroyers, based off of looks and the fact that I'm not a naval expert, I'd assume these are Arleigh-Burke class destroyers, which are not cheap. These average a cost of $1.843 billion per ship, and this number is unfortunately from Wikipedia but its not like I didn't try to find the original source linked in the article. It is an old source from fiscal year 2011-2012 so one may assume its outdated however these ships are built and in service for a long time so honestly the 5 ships destroyed may have been from the late 2000's or early 2010's, maybe even earlier. With 5 of these puppies being whomped, that brings in $9.215 billion in damage.

Now onto some more nonsense, the Hollow Earth Aerial Vehicle or HEAV for short. This mystical machine is built to withstand the mind-numbing gravity reversal that happens when one takes the rainbow road into Hollow Earth. Throughout the film there are 3 HEAV's in usage with each perishing at a different point in time. Seeing as these are borderline space shuttles, I figure the only appropriate comparison is a literal shuttle. Based on data5 that was adjusted for 2020 inflation (so close enough), the first space shuttle for NASA cost about $49 billion to research, develop, build and launch. There's definitely a litany of differences between the HEAV and the space shuttle that might alter these numbers, such as the boosters and external fuel tanks. From what I can tell, the HEAV can take off and land where it pleases, but where there are cost cutting options in the design, the HEAV is a futuristic machine that probably costs waaaaaaaaay more to research and develop. It can withstand the reversal of gravity in hollow earth people, this is not an exact science. Anyways, seeing as there are 3 HEAV's I'd say the total cost is about $147 billion. Godzilla and Kong are racking up quite the tab.

Lastly, the entire city of Hong Kong. Now I really don't know how I was supposed to go about this one, (look up the cost of every building Godzilla, King Kong and MechaGodzilla destroyed and add it all up?) I mean, they destroyed everything, and I'm not sure anyone has the patience to add that all up, myself included. To give a very generous guess I quickly Googled the GDP of Hong Kong which sits at $365.7 billion which of course when your main city is razed by a large reptile and a simian you kind of lose just about 99% of your GDP, but of course that's just a guess. So my final take here is Godzilla and King Kong's game of pinball with Hong Kong skyscrapers results in about $350 billion in damage6.

Oh and MechaGodzilla gets wrecked along with the Hong Kong HQ of Apex Cybernetics. If I had a hard time with judging the cost of destroying a city, I certainly will have a hard time with another fictitious HQ and a giant robot monster. I'm going to just add a similar value from the previous HQ destruction scenario but since only half of the Pensacola HQ was destroyed and this one is a secret lair inside a freaking mountain in Hong Kong I'm gonna assume this costs a bit more. So let's just spitball and say its the full $5 billion like Apple Park, not to mention Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world, so it makes a little more sense than you'd think. Now MechaGodzilla, the first thing that came into my mind for a comparison is the life size giant Gundam robot being built in Japan.

Gundam Robot

It's murky how much a real fighting robot that's as high tech as MechaGodzilla would cost, but this Gundam robot is the best comparison we've got. Some researchers deduced how much an "actual" Gundam would cost, which was done in 2008, and they determined it to be around $725 million7. Adjusting for inflation brings that to around $904 million, however there's some addition needed here. The research article assumes that an IBM supercomputer would be used to control the robot but in Godzilla vs. Kong, obviously the only thing that can control MechaGodzilla is a man sitting in the skull of Ghodirah which is being used as a super computer. Makes sense right? Anyways that along with all of the capabilities of MechaGodzilla make me feel like it would cost about 5 times the amount of the Gundam, although it sure saves a good amount on those paint costs, all chrome baby all chrome. So let's say 5 times that amount brings us to a whopping $4.52 billion for a rootin tootin fighting dinosaur.

Final Tally Time!

Bringing in all of our numbers crunched let's add em up:

  • $675 million (Skull island bubble jumbotrons)
  • $2.5 billion (Mar a LaGodzilla hates Florida)
  • $700 million (Planey McPlaneface)
  • $12.8 billion (Boaty McBoatface)
  • $9.215 billion (Boaty McBoatface: the sequel)
  • $147 billion (Elon Musk's toy space ships)
  • $350 billion (Hong Kong, King Kong, COINCIDENCE????)
  • $5 billion (Evil mountain lair)
  • $4.52 billion (Go go gadget fighting robot dragon)

Which brings the final bill to $532.41 billion!

This of course is as rough of an estimate as one can possibly make, not to mention this doesn't take into account the hundreds if not thousands of lives lost, which can't possibly have a monetary value associated with them.

Ok enough about the economic impact of this, how was the movie???

The movie was dogshit.

Froth

THIS
WOW this was an excellent beer.
Strong and hoppy but not overwhelming in any way. A smooth finish and great flavor. Thank goodness there was some redeeming moment for watching this movie, and I'm grateful it was in my control and not Godzilla or Kong's. I was saving this beer for this film since I just kind of thought, "well if one of these monsters is gonna be king, I better have some sort of imperial beer;" it made sense in my mind. I also knew I wanted to write about the damage cost before even seeing the movie, so I felt as though my beverage should be a frugal choice, thankfully this beer is quite affordable.

Imperial IPA
IPA - American | 7.5%
Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
@maritimepacificbrewing


  1. Source
  2. Apple Park Source
  3. Planes go vroom
  4. This number makes me ship my pants
  5. NASA money
  6. This is just an estimate of damage done, not the overall economic impact. I know I said stuff about the GDP and blah blah blah but this was just a very rough estimate of physical damage cost.
  7. Hot dam Gundam