Early ‘Godzilla’ B.O. giant

Performed best on East Coast

Size counted for an estimated $3.5 million for Sony’s “Godzilla” Tuesday night preview, according to box office observers.

Sony executives declined to discuss the early grosses, but estimates by exhibitors and rival distributors ranged from $3 million to $4 million. Their assessments were made by comparing individual theater grosses to same-theater receipts of previous weekday previews and then factoring in the number of complexes playing “Godzilla.”

The picture seemed to perform best on the East Coast and least well in the Midwest and South.

In several Los Angeles situations, the film outperformed the advance screenings of Universal’s “Jurassic Park: The Lost World” by as much as 20%. “Lost World” took in $2.6 million in Thursday night previews when it opened last Memorial Day weekend. It finished the five-day frame with over $92 million.

Exhibs were allowed to begin showing “Godzilla” after 7 p.m. Tuesday. Sony reported that roughly 2,900 theaters participated in the previews.

Most situations ran two shows, although many venues played the film on multiple screens, with some even establishing a round-the-clock “Godzilla” schedule.

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