By The Playlist | The Playlist May 18, 2014 at 12:26PM
Up from the depths, 30 stories tall, “Godzilla” absolutely crushed it this weekend, almost grabbing the highest North American opening weekend of the year. The film was poised to do so with an estimated $98 million weekend, $3 million higher than “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and its $95 million opening in April, but those estimates were evidently slightly too high. Nonetheless, the Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures movie took the top slot with a whopping $93.2 million.
Suffice to say another monster is probably going to surface on earth and “Godzilla” will have to restore order to the planet again in a sequel (read our review here). The movie also scored the biggest opening day of 2014, with a $38.5 million Friday, so it at least has that record to boast. Evidently it only earned a so-so "B+" CinemaScore with audiences, but that was certainly more than enough.
"Neighbors" fell 47% from last weekend, but still earned a healthy $25.9 million and it's less than $9 million from cracking the $100 million mark domestically. It unseated “The Amazing Spider-Man” sequel last week and its R-Rated comedy success could end up being the biggest one of the year. Speaking of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," it grossed another $17 million domestically, and Sony Picture's North American total is now at $172 million. These are not fantastic numbers for its third week in release, and while it will certainly surpass the $200 million mark at home, it might only limp to around $250 million overall (the first film in the series only did $262 million domestically which isn’t, well, amazing for a well-known franchise and brand – all three “Transformers” movies were over $300 domestically, for comparison). But as is the case more and more, the international story is different. In about four weekends of global release, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has grossed $620 million worldwide. It could spider-crawl its way up to the original’s gross, $752 million, but Sony had their eye on $1 billion – which they are simply not going to achieve.
Disney's "Million Dollar Arm" had an ok weekend, but certainly not great for being in 2,109 theaters. Its three day weekend total was $10.5 million. Considering “Godzilla” was in theaters and this is counter programming, it’s probably what the studio expected, but the film is likely going to disappear from theaters soon, proving once again Jon Hamm isn’t quite a superstar when he’s not playing Don Draper. While Elizabeth Banks' "Walk Of Shame" has already stumbled out of the top 10, holding strong for the ladies is "The Other Woman," which took the fifth slot and only fell 32% from its previous weekend. This means that after three weeks the female-centric comedy is still holding on. It’s grossed $71.7 million at home so far in total, and maybe if they’re lucky, and it plays in theaters for 10 weeks, they’ll reach the $100 million mark.
Sony's religious drama "Heaven Is For Real" is also still holding on strong and it may be three weeks away from reaching the $100 million mark. This one of course cost nothing and has been a huge success already. Rounding out the top 10 was "Rio 2," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" – still in the top 10 after 6 weeks and surpassed the $250 million mark at home and $700 million worldwide this weekend – and “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.” Sony's "Moms' Night Out" has been performing modestly even for its low $5 million budget. Its domestic total is $7.4 million so far and by next weekend it should be out of the top 10. Whether it can even crawl to $10 million and “break even” (hardly, studios never get 100% of profits), remains to be seen.
In the limited release market, Jon Favreau's "Chef" dished out $734,000 in 72 venues making for a strong $10,194 per screen average. And James Gray’s “The Immigrant” scored a $14,309 per screen average from just three theaters in New York and L.A. Milestones of note: “Frozen” just keeps on going. The animated toon has now earned over $1.2 billion worldwide and by next weekend should be able to overtake “Iron Man 3” as the fifth highest grossing movie of all time (it’s been #1 for 10 weeks in a row in Japan so expect this number to keep climbing).
1. “Godzilla” - $93,205,000
2. “Neighbors” - $25.9 million ($91.5m)
3. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” -- $16.8 million ($172.m)
4. "Million Dollar Arm"- $10.5 million
5. “The Other Woman” - $6.3 million ($71.6m)
6. “Heaven Is For Real”- $4.4 million ($82m)
7. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”- $3.7 million ($251.m)
8. “Rio 2” - $3.8 million ($118.m)
9. “Moms' Night Out” - $1.95 million ($7.0m)
10. “Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return” - $1.9 million ($6.5m)