Godzilla Box Office Surprises at $93MBy: Rachel Kolman - May 18, 2014
Godzilla, Legendary and Warner Bros’s new take on the classic 1950’s Japanese monster film, opened at No. 1 this weekend with a whopping $93 million in box office sales. This number easily passes the prediction of $76 million by BoxOffice.com and critics alike. The film stars Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, a plant worker who believes that the quarantined, supposedly radioactive Japanese town is really hiding something much, much larger.
Godzilla is the second biggest opening of 2014, only behind Captain America’s $95 million. (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 takes third with $91 million.) It takes the record for 6th biggest debut weekend for a non-sequel, and it’s Warner Bros largest May debut ever. And unlike big budget pics like Spiderman’s $250m, Godzilla took $160m to make, a number it’s likely to make back before it leaves theaters.
What made the movie work so well? “The tone of the movie was effectively communicated through the marketing,” said Jon Jashni, Legendary’s president. Legendary paid for 75% of the movie and Warner Bros put in 25%, but they collaborated equally on marketing. “Thomas Tull and his [Legendary] team did an incredible job and have delivered a new franchise,” said Warners president Dan Fellman. It’s being rumored that the two movie studios are already working on the sequel. “If this comes out and works well, we’ll figure it out,” Legendary’s Tull said at a May 1 screening of the film in Hollywood.
Sony’s 1998 take at Godzilla, starring Matthew Broderick, did $136m domestically and $380m worldwide. Looks like this version, 15 years later, will far surpass that with not only effective marketing, but 3D ticket sales – which accounted for 51% of Godzilla’s gross sales. The visually stunning effects make it a must-see IMAX experience for any movie-goer.
“It’s just the ultimate monster movie,” says director Gareth Edwards about Godzilla’s appeal. And others agree: the film has a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes and is overall being received well; Variety film critic Peter DeBruge says that director Edwards manages to “make good on his ability to conjure enormous scope and scale via clever staging and visual effects.”
Image via Youtube