“Godzilla” has the goods, showing plenty of firepower on its first day to wind up with an opening weekend in the $90 million range in the U.S.
Early estimates for the iconic monster showed the Warner Bros.-Legendary Pictures’ title tracking to gross about $35 million on Friday. That figure included an impressive $9.3 million from latenight Thursday screenings.
“Godzilla” will likely wind up dropping at least 10% on Saturday to the $31 million range, then pull in around $22 million Sunday.
So the monster has a decent shot at cracking the $90 million barrier for its opening weekend — surmounted twice so far this year by Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” with $95 million and Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ with $91.6 million.
The numbers for “Godzilla,” budgeted at $160 million, will dwarf Sony’s 1998 version, starring Matthew Broderick, opened with $44 million in the U.S. and wound up grossing $136 million domestically and $380 million worldwide.
Warner Bros. also saw solid Thursday numbers from its international markets with $16.2 million for a cumulative total of $20 million from more than 30 markets, led by $2 million in the U.K. from sneak showings, $1.7 million in Russia and $1.4 million in Mexico. As of Friday, “Godzilla” will be on about 16,000 international screens in 64 markets.
“Godzilla,” which launches at 3,952 domestic locations, has received a masssive marketing push in recent weeks with the studio emphasizing the monster as the focus of the movie, which stars Aaron Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston. Those efforts should keep “Godzilla” from fading from the moviegoers’ minds as Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” bows over Memorial Day weekend.
Disney’s inspirational sports drama “Million Dollar Arm,” starring Jon Hamm, looks likely to be obliterated in its opening with $3.5 million on Friday for an opening weekend around $10 million to $12 million.
Universal’s R-rated hit comedy “Neighbors” should lead the rest of the pack with a a decline in the 47% range for a second weekend of about $26 million following a Friday in the $8 million range. The film opened to an impressive $49 million last weekend and should be above $90 million by the end of Sunday.
Sony’s third frame of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ took in about $4.4 million on Friday for a weekend in the $14 million to $15 million range. That should place the U.S. total around $170 million in 17 days and the worldwide total at well over $600 million with China’s total up to $65 million heading into this weekend.