Can Legendary pic repeat 'Pacific Rim' monster score in Middle Kingdom?

HONG KONG – “Godzilla” will stomp its way into China in mid-June.

The June 13 release in the Middle Kingdom will be roughly a month after its debut in much of the world from this weekend, but will be some six weeks ahead of its release in Japan, the country where the mega-monster is a national icon.

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It also means a busy month for Warner Bros., which releases the film through China Film Group. The company’s Tom Cruise-starrer “Edge of Tomorrow” has been given a June 6 slot.

With a firm release date now in place, marketing operations can begin in earnest. A 41-second video featuring the film’s star Bryan Cranston is now doing the rounds on Chinese online media.

“Hello, everyone in China. I’m Bryan Cranston. I’m excited to show you a trailer of my new film ‘Godzilla’ to be released in China on June 13th. We hope you enjoy it,” he says gamely.

Warner execs would not be drawn on the scale of the release or their forecasts for its theatrical performance. But Legendary Pictures executives will likely have their fingers crossed that it can come close to the China score of its “Pacific Rim,” which is similarly based on a Japanese monster property.

“Pacific Rim” was one of the unusual examples of a Hollywood picture doing better in China than in North America. It racked up $112 million in China, compared with a domestic gross of $101 and a global total of $411 million.

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