“Godzilla” crashed through the $400 million mark at the global box office this weekend thanks to a massive debut in China.
The monster reboot earned $36 million on 9,000 screens, a record opening haul for Warner Bros., though just short of two other recent tentpoles, the $39.35 million Chinese debut of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and the $39.23 million People’s Republic bow of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
“Godzilla” has now scared up $440 million worldwide, surpassing the $380 million figure that its backers said it needed to break even.
“Godzilla” was a co-production between Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, which will receive 75% of its profits. The film’s Chinese haul may also tie the $4.5 million record that “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” put up in its IMAX showings in China.
Its debut cut into the second weekend of another Warner Bros. picture, “Edge of Tomorrow,” which earned $9.3 million on 3,264 screens in the world’s second largest film market. The Tom Cruise film racked up $26.5 million in its debut.
There’s still one major territory left for “Godzilla” as it eyes the $500 million benchmark — Japan, where the picture will be distributed by the Toho Company and is set to release on July 25. The King of the Monsters originated in that Asian country and is widely expected to perform strongly in its homecoming.