‘Godzilla’ Crushes Box Office With Largest Opening Day of Year, Set for $98 Million Weekend


The King of the Monsters is also king of the box office.

Godzilla” obliterated the competition with a $38.5 million Stateside opening on Friday, the largest debut day of the year. This includes $9.3 million from Thursday night screenings. At $6.2 million, the creature feature also earned 2014’s biggest Imax opening.

The Warner Bros.-Legendary Pictures reboot of the Japanese classic is on track for a much-higher-than-anticipated $98 million this weekend, which would be the best opening of the year so far.

This also means the tentpole could top the openings of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which launched to $95 million and $91.6 million, respectively.

If that figure holds, it will also mark the highest grossing debut for a monster movie to date, ahead of the last record holder, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” which opened to $72 million in 1997.

“Godzilla” hauled in an additional $22.3 million from foreign markets on Friday, bringing its international cume to $43 million. It’s no. 1 in the U.K. ($4.7 million two-day total), Russia ($3.6 million), Mexico ($3.2 million), Germany ($2.9 million) and Australia ($2.6 million).

Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla” is undoing the damage done by Sony’s 1998 big-budget disaster. Roland Emmerich’s pic starring Matthew Broderick opened to lackluster reviews and grossed only $6 million more Stateside than its $130 million production budget (it hauled $380 million worldwide). In fact, the last three Godzilla movies have flopped domestically, with “Godzilla 1985” grossing $4 million and “Godzilla 2000” making $10 million.

The $160 million blockbuster is the last film that WB is co-financing with Legendary — its producing partner of eight years. “Godzilla” is their first big-budget collaboration following last summer’s mixed bag “Pacific Rim.”

Legendary, which financed 75% of “Godzilla,” looks to be turning a new leaf following its recent trouble with the monster genre at the U.S. box office. “Pacific Rim’s” meager takings (it made $102 million domestic on a $190 million production budget) followed Bryan Singer’s “Jack the Giant Slayer” disappointment, another WB release.

The pic starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen is playing in 3,952 theaters. It received mainly positive reviews, earning a B+ CinemaScorea and 73% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Another newcomer, the Jon Hamm-starrer “Million Dollar Arm,” grossed $3.5 million for a fourth place finish on Friday. Disney’s inspirational sports drama looks to earn $10 million-plus by Sunday — a decent start for the modestly-budgeted $25 million film.

Universal’s “Neighbors” leads the rest of the pack with $8.4 million. The second weekend of the raunchy comedy starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron stands to earn $26 million, a 47% decline from its stellar debut weekend.

The R-rated movie crashed “The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s” box office party last weekend when it launched to no. 1 with an impressive $49 million.

Meanwhile, another blockbuster reboot, Sony’s “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” came in third with $4.5 million on Friday. The superhero pic will likely earn between $15.5 and $16.5 million by Sunday, which would raise its domestic cume to $171.4 million. Its worldwide total had almost reached $600 million heading into the weekend.

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  1. Julienne says:

    “Million Dollar Arm” didin’t do well, because it’s a film about someone from another country. Inspirational Films about people from other countries, never do well in the States. Fact.

  2. Michael says:

    A severing of the lower jaw/ripping head off of the MUTO was what I expected as well. Loved the “throat nuking”!

  3. TheBigBangOf20thCenturyPopCulture says:

    They don’t show the monster enough because this Godzilla is a wuss. His torso design makes him an emo lizard at best and his back scales are off kilter and not even well hung. Skimping on peek -a-boo shots worked for the shark in Jaws 40 years ago, but not for a 350 feet tall creature kids wanna see so they can buy the toy action figure. As a result, this movie plays like a bad meal at a restaurant where you order the house special with all the fixings and get served up a cheap menu child’s portion instead.

  4. Chris says:

    Hell yes. Doubters, your crow is coming right up. Have the forks and knives ready. Add your bitter salty tears if said crow is too dry.

  5. daz.bik.dek.ofo.ofu.bdg.btn says:

    godzilla a great movie a great blockbuster but jean reno is a better leadman the action was great in both movies

  6. B says:

    Congrats to Mr. Edwards. On a tangential note, don’t intend to nitpick, but how about some basic math here:

    “[Neighbors] stands to earn $26 million, a 47% decline from its stellar debut weekend … when it launched to no. 1 with an impressive $49 million.”

    26 / 0.47 = 55.32

    Is it just me, or is it the finance people? lmk.

  7. Ricky says:

    Godzilla was done right with this film. While some complained that it didn’t feature Godzilla enough, the restrained approach helped to strengthen the film’s suspense and dramatic moments and increase the built up tension. It was more realistic than that 98 atrocity, which most true Godzilla fans hate and do not consider Godzilla. I hope this film sparks a series of new Godzilla adventures.

  8. therealeverton says:

    Very good film and a very good update that respects what came before and how to make a good, classic monster. You do NOT see the creature right away, you do not see the creature ALL the time once it has been revealed and you don’t need to blow everything up just for thee sake of it.

    Also LOVED the heroic walk away at the end. I id not expect that and it was just class.

    • Chris says:

      I loved that they did what was done so often in the old movies. Big G arrives, does battle and then goes back into the sea. And we got one last glorious roar right before he leaves too.

      *******SPOILERS BELOW*******

      The atomic breath down the throat fatality was simply amazing. When he was trying to pry the MUTO’s mouth open, I thought he was just going to pull the MUTO’s head apart as he did that but nope, glorious atomic breath fatality.

  9. Maybe Marvel will add him to the Avengers 2, so they can make more $$$. Hulk vs Godzilla!

  10. cadavra says:

    “Flop” is an unfair description of GODZILLA 2000. It was acquired for low six figures, and $10 million wasn’t bad in the dog days of August, plus it was enormously appreciated by fans who felt burned by the Emmerich version. Any movie that makes money and receives mostly favorable reviews is better described as a “modest success.”

  11. As an adult who grew up watching all the Godzilla films and getting the japanese toys and what not, I’m excited to see this lovely remake get love by everyone that isn’t a fanatic. Well done by Edwards and the quiet marketing idea from Legendary/WB. Great stuff.
    Long live the king.

  12. Ben says:

    I think this should state the Pacific Rim crushed everything that came out last year internationally. That was a huge success and if this is as well…. Hell Yes!

  13. Bella says:

    I too saw the original Godzilla movies when I was a kid, my whole went to the theatre and it was an event for us. This current version made me want to get up and cheer because it restored what we loved the most about these films. I almost wanted to cry at the end as I did with the films in the 80s. Can’t wait for the sequels HELLO MOTHRA…….,,,

  14. onmedea says:

    A drunk and high Finnish film critic has written the most hilarious “Godzilla” review you will ever read.

  15. James says:

    Seriously though I’ve seen so many negative reviews on this movie and I have no idea why people are hating on it. I saw it Thursday night and I was totally blown away. It completely followed the guidelines of the original Godzilla movies where you don’t see the monster too often, but there is a lot of great human drama as well to make for a proper storyline. I think if you’re just going to the movie to see monsters fight for two hours and you don’t care about a story than go re-watch Pacific Rim.

    I loved the original Godzilla films for the originality, the spectacle of those brief fleeting moments you got to see Godzilla in action, and the underlying theme that was running…you can’t control nature.

  16. James says:

    I smell a sequel!!!

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