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Weekend B.O. May 16-18 (Godzilla Smashes The Competition - Called This One)

Box Office
by Sergio
May 18, 2014 12:25 PM
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I’m not one to brag, but I have to say that I called this one. Even two weeks ago, box office analysts were predicting that Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures' new take on Godzilla would open with around $60 million. I said to some people that was way too low. Then last week, when the prediction went up to $70 million opening, I still thought they were low-balling it. I predicted it would do even bigger than that, and would go on to gross well over $200 million domestically.

And I was right...

The film made a whopping $93 million its opening weekend, helped, no doubt, by the biggest opening day for any film so far this year, with a $38.5 million Friday, beating out Captain America:The Winter Solder’s $35.2 million opening.

Why did I think the film would do so well? It’s because of the high anticipation by film-goers to see it, along with the fact that Godzilla is a genuine movie icon, with a never ending worldwide popularity among all ages, who's been around for 60 years. Add to that, a great marketing campaign, and excellent trailers making it look very intriguing, but never overselling the film, and you have smash hit.

Even that lousy Roland Emmerich 1998 Sony Pictures version that everyone hates, made some $380 million worldwide (which would be $552.7 million in 2014 dollars). So this new version, directed by the upcoming young British director Gareth Edwards (who previously only directed the low budget and little seen film Monsters), which is vastly superior to Emmerich’s version, is destined to be a huge box office hit.

In addition, when you add the $43 million that Godzilla has grossed overseas this weekend, you have all the ingredients for a worldwide mega hit. And the film doesn’t open in Japan and Asia until late July where, of course, it’s expected to go through the roof.

The other major release this weekend - Disney’s Million Dollar Arm with Jon Hamm, which was scheduled as a sort of counter programming against Godzilla - made no impact, with a flat $10.5 million, coming in fourth place; though the sagging popularity of sports movies no doubt hurt the film as well. Let’s face it; not everyone likes baseball, let alone even watches it.

Last week’s No. 1 film, Neighbors, took a dip, but was still good for $26 million, bringing its total to date to $91.5  million.

And as for Belle, the film jumped from 19th to 13th place, after being expanded to 173 screens, with $960,000 this weekend, for a total of $1,797,000 million so far.

1) Godzilla WB $93,205,000 
2) Neighbors Uni. $25,991,000 Total: $91,517,000 
3) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony $16,800,000 Total: $172,170,000 
4) Million Dollar Arm BV $10,511,000 
5) The Other Woman  Fox $6,300,000 Total:  $71,664,000 
6)  Heaven is for Real TriS $4,400,000 Total:  $82,249,000 
7) Rio 2 Fox $3,800,000 Total:  $118,051,000 
8) Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV $3,759,000 Total: $250,627,000 
9) Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return CE $1,952,000 Total: 6,559,000 
10) Moms' Night Out TriS $1,900,000 Total: $7,327,000  
11) Divergent LG/S $1,150,000 Total: $146,775,000 

120 The Grand Budapest Hotel FoxS $1,100,000 Total: $55,537,000 

13) Belle FoxS $960,000 Total:  $1,787,000  

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  • Neville Ross | May 24, 2014 4:00 PMReply

    No surprise there, really-this version of Godzilla looked better from the trailers alone, that should have ensured its success.

    Great to see that a black woman can make a movie about a black woman falling in love with whomever she wants to.

  • Dave's Deluxe | May 19, 2014 2:09 AMReply

    To anyone going to see "BELLE": I saw it this weekend. Not a great flick. Essentially it's a "light-skinned black woman in a love triangle with two strapping white dudes" movie. I'm sure the chicks will dig it. Not a black man in sight, save for a few ashy-looking, way-in-the-background extras toward the end. If anything can be said that's good about the movie, it's that a black woman directed a competent, gorgeous and somewhat boring movie.

  • Donella | May 18, 2014 4:59 PMReply

    Belle was a lovely film. The audience in my theater really enjoyed it. The filmmakers managed to sneak in an interesting history lesson underneath a Jane Austen/Downton Abbey type of regency romance.

  • Donella | May 19, 2014 10:50 AM

    Gugu really shined in a role that might once have been Thandie Newton's or Sophie Okonedo's domain. She's not only the title character but unmistakably the lead character. As Dave pointed out above, a "Black woman directed a competent," I recommend it!

  • Lauren B | May 18, 2014 2:50 PMReply

    What about HALF OF A YELLOW SUN? Very confused about the marketing on this film. I also agree with BEEMOREE... It'd be nice to see a write-up on the success of BELLE. Considering the hurdles it had to overcome, that film is doing great. Noticed a lot of "word of mouth" referral going on in social media and it felt genuine, not fabricated.

  • Daryl | May 18, 2014 1:39 PMReply

    I think this generation puts too much emphasis on box office success or how much a music artist is selling or making. I miss the day where you never checked out a movie box office success as a fan of movie you just cared if you like the movie or not or you didn't pay attention to if an artist was going gold or platinum. That's why you have soo much souless entertainment released because it's just about the numbers and that's part of the marketing plan now, the only people that should be concerned about numbers is people that invested in the film or has some type of participation in the film that it's important to their career. I don't care how much money Godzilla made, I just want to know is the film good or do I like the music an artist is making, that's all I care about. This generation is so obsessed with numbers and bamboozled by corporate marketing stratergy that they miss out on a lot of good movie and music because they are program that if you make a boat load of money it's good or you are the best.

  • Daryl | May 18, 2014 10:15 PM

    Oh please or whatever your name is, I'm not whining, I'm saying that this generation puts too much stock in box office grosses like they got stock in the film. I remember the time when the audience didn't know box office grosses or didn't care. We just went to see a movie because we wanted to see it and the rest took care of itself. Us not knowing the box office grosses didn't stop Spike Lee, Eddie Murphy, Mario Van Peebles, Denzel Washington, The Hughes Brother, and John Singleton from making movies in the 80's and 90's. They made films we wanted to see and were able to continue to make films without the audience knowing or caring about their box office grosses. I'm going to check Belle out because it's a film I want to see no matter what it does at the box office. Godzilla just don't look that interesting to me, it looks like the same recycle hollywood blockbuster formula, it being number 1 still doesn't make me want to run out and go see it.

  • Oh Please | May 18, 2014 2:53 PM

    Your usual whining again Daryl? AND if a black director made Godzilla, would you still be complaining? If it was a black director with black leads, would you still be complaining about how much the movie made? Box office would be all good then wouldn't it?

    You are so transparent.

  • Miles Ellison | May 18, 2014 2:30 PM

    That's why most mainstream entertainment is crap.

  • Beemooree | May 18, 2014 1:05 PMReply

    Will a write be done on belles success?

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