‘Godzilla’ Stomping Toward $60 Million Debut in the U.S.


Legendary and Warner Bros.’ monster tentpole “Godzilla” looks to take a significant bite out of the box office next month with a potential $60 million-plus opening domestically, according to early insider estimates.

Some observers say Gareth Edwards’ reboot could fetch over $70 million when it roars into theaters on May 16, depending on word of mouth for the $160 million tentpole, which begins screening for critics and the press in the coming weeks.

“Godzilla” opens day-and-date worldwide in 60 foreign markets, hitting nearly every international region except Japan and China (a release date for China has not yet been announced).

Foreign tallies are expected to double the U.S. grosses, with B.O. projections in the $500 million to $600 million range globally.

Still, the 3D movie will likely lose the summer blockbuster battle as it faces off against a web of superheroes and monster pics in the coming months.

“Godzilla,” which has a P&A budget of just over $100 million, is sandwiched between two highly anticipated sequels from more established brands: Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which will have premiered two weeks before, and Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which hits theaters the following week.

Teaser trailers, TV spots and sneak peeks at Comic-Con, CinemaCon, SXSW and WonderCon, most recently, have generated much buzz and positive word of mouth following the reveal of the totally transformed scaly monster, with YouTube reporting Thursday that the “Godzilla” promo was the most-viewed movie trailer in the first quarter.

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

Warner Bros. and Legendary are tasked with redeeming Godzilla 16 years after Roland Emmerich’s big-budget version opened to lackluster reviews and grossed only $6 million more Stateside than its $130 million production budget. In fact, the last three Godzilla movies have flopped domestically, with “Godzilla 1985” grossing $4 million and “Godzilla 2000” earning $10 million.

“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston stars alongside the the iconic reptile in Edwards’ upcoming pic. Aaron Taylor Johnson (“Kick Ass”) and Elizabeth Olson co-star.

Legendary hopes “Godzilla” ends the recent woes of 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.

But Godzilla is one of the most globally recognizable movie monsters of all time, and the film stands to make an impact overseas (“Pacific Rim” also had foreign clout with a $309 million haul), making “Godzilla’s” release in Japan and China all the more significant.

WB is distributing “Godzilla” worldwide except in Japan, where it will be distributed by the monster’s owner, Toho, though it won’t return to its country of origin until July 25.

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  1. Ray Lopez says:

    Seeing that the budget of Godzilla 1985 was 6.25 Million and Godzilla 2000 was 8.3 Million which roughly adds up to 1/10th of the terrible 1998 movies budget, I would hardly call them flops, Combined they grossed 40 Million worldwide. Somebody should do some fact checking.

  2. rosgar says:

    I rather watch Godzilla, and X-MEN instead of endless remakes of Spiderman.

  3. Maybe the biggest opening in History.

  4. cadavra says:

    GODZILLA 2000 wasn’t exactly a flop. A $10 million gross isn’t bad when you consider it was picked up for about half a million, plus it was dumped in the dog days of August with a horrible campaign selling it as a kiddie movie. The reviews were good, the fans mostly ecstatic, and Toho admitted that the Americanized version was an improvement, even adopting it themselves for some unopened territories and a brief reissue in Japan.

  5. Bender says:

    The movie looks absolutely amazing; if the film’s quality lives up to the quality of the trailers, then it could be the best kaiju movie of all time. Of course, whether that translates into box-office success is another question entirely….Americans sure show up in droves to some crappy movies. The new spiderman looks like just a non-stop barrage of CGI and wayyyy too many villains. This Godzilla looks more character-driven than anything else…which is a breath of fresh air.

    • LOL says:

      America does love crap. This new Godzilla seems to be effused with European seriousness and thoughtfulness, where destruction causes dramatically rich consequences. Americans get overwhelmed when a blockbuster requires them to think about character dynamics and narrative complexities, hence why Godzilla has very muted US projections. If the producers were to add a Jesus subplot then Americans will flock to Godzilla in biblical masses. Americans lack brains.

      • Drak says:

        I want to be insulted by that, I really do. But I’d have to disagree with you first, which I can’t bring myself to do…and while I’m not putting myself above liking the occasional terrible movie (Bruce Campbell fan for life), not all of us are totally tasteless.

  6. Chris Etrata says:

    Way too high for these predictions. 50-55 is what I see it doing opening weekend at most.

    • Chad says:

      Not this American. Throw Jesus in there and I will avoid it big time! I can see how you get the idea that we are all crap lovers (er, movie wise) – but some of us are not. So where the hell are you from LOL- one good dig deserves another..I’m sure where your from has a perfect reputation too huh?

  7. Denis Murphy says:

    Pure speculation then? I was attracted by your headline announcing a 60m opening… which is weeks away. LOL. Targets are being reported as quasi facts. I hope the studio has paid handsomely.

  8. therealeverton says:

    King Kong was made to seem disappointing from opening day by publications like Variety who, with little reason at all, expected it to open like Jackson’s Lord of The Rings films.

  9. It won’t be the same, without Raymond Burr.

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