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.
120 The Grand Budapest Hotel FoxS $1,100,000 Total: $55,537,000
13) Belle FoxS $960,000 Total: $1,787,000