Thanks to a strong marketing campaign, which eventually gave way to too much detail, Warner Bros and Legendary (on their last movie together) are reaping the rewards for the Gareth Edwards directed Godzilla.
The film has received mixed reviews, with one of the biggest divides in fans I have ever seen, but the advertising has meant that fans have flocked to the cinema to see it. Whether they will flock back is another matter, for the film has received either glowing reviews or scathing reviews, but regardless of what people think, Godzilla has become potentially the biggest opening film of the year so far, and certainly the biggest monster film opening!
The film opened with a strong $9.3 million in the US from Thursday shows, and then achieved a whopping $38.5 million on Friday, the largest opening of the year so far. This beats debuts by both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and also The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Godzilla opened with a $6.2 million haul from IMAX takings, the largest IMAX opening of the year so far.
The Warner Bros.-Legendary Pictures reboot of the Japanese classic is on track for a much-higher-than-anticipated $98 million this weekend, which would be the best opening of the year so far.
This also means the tentpole could top the openings of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which launched to $95 million and $91.6 million, respectively.
If that figure holds, it will also mark the highest grossing debut for a monster movie to date, ahead of the last record holder, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” which opened to $72 million in 1997.
“Godzilla” hauled in an additional $22.3 million from foreign markets on Friday, bringing its international cume to $43 million. It’s no. 1 in the U.K. ($4.7 million two-day total), Russia ($3.6 million), Mexico ($3.2 million), Germany ($2.9 million) and Australia ($2.6 million).
Whether Godzilla can keep the momentum going is anybodies guess. Reviews have gone from “best monster movie ever” to “one of the worst monster movies”. I have never seen a film divide an audience quite like this, but if it counts for anything, my view is that the film was a stunning achievement, and totally delivered on its promise.
Gareth Edwards directs Godzilla, which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick- Ass”), Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Inception”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” “Cosmopolis”), and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “The Bourne Legacy”) and Bryan Cranston (“Argo,” TV’s “Breaking Bad”).
Edwards directs from a screenplay by Max Borenstein and Oscar ® nominee Frank Darabont (“The Green Mile,” “The Shawshank Redemption”), story by David Callaham and Max Borenstein, based on the character “Godzilla” owned and created by TOHO CO., LTD. Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers. Patricia Whitcher and Alex Garcia are serving as executive producers, alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.
The behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar®-nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Anna Karenina,” “Atonement”); production designerOwen Paterson (“The Matrix” trilogy); editor Bob Ducsay (“Looper”); Oscar-nominated costume designer Sharen Davis (“Dreamgirls,” “Ray,” “Django Unchained”); and Oscar®-winning visual effects supervisor Jim Rygiel (the “Lord of the Rings” films). The score is being created by Oscar®-nominated composer Alexandre Desplat (“Argo,” “The King’s Speech”).
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present a Legendary Pictures production, a Gareth Edwards film, “Godzilla.” Slated to open beginning May 16, 2014, the film will be presented in 3D, 2D and IMAX® in select theatres and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd. Legendary Pictures is a division of Legendary Entertainment.