The hype train is a wonderful thing. Effective advertising and well-done trailers can go a long way toward boosting a film’s gross. Sentiment toward Godzilla changed from an attitude of “oh, they’re doing another Godzilla movie? The last one sucked!” to “oh, I can’t wait for Godzilla! It looks sick!” Godzilla remains by far the most popular of all the kaiju and he more than proved that with a suitably gargantuan opening weekend.
Posting the second largest opening of the year, beating a box office juggernaut like Spider-Man and nearly Captain America, Godzilla debuted to a massive $93.2 million. That debut is something that few box office fans would’ve predicted coming into this weekend. But, as I said above, the marketing and advertising were fantastic, and the promise of seeing the big guy on the silver screen with the power of modern special effects was too much to ignore.
Ultimately, I was disappointed in the film itself and word of mouth does seem a tad mixed. Given that, and the direct competition from X-Men: Days of Future Past next weekend, plus the sheer size of this opening, it’s likely that the King of Monsters falls pretty hard in its second weekend. Even still, a final gross of at least $225 million is pretty much all but guaranteed, as is a sequel. And when the inevitable follow-up does come along, I hope we get to spend more time with Godzilla and less time with uninteresting human characters.
After its unexpectedly big opening, Neighbors took a pretty big hit, falling 47% to $26 million. Still, it has a total of $91.5 million so far and should be headed for a final gross around $130 million, which would be very good. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continued its erosion, dropping 53% to $16.8 million. Through three weekends, it has pulled in a hugely disappointing $172.2 million and will struggle just to get past $200 million. Spidey has fallen on hard times.
Million Dollar Arm debuted down in fourth with $10.5 million. Expectations weren’t particularly high in the first place, but this debut is disappointing nonetheless. The Other Woman slid 34%, grossed $6.3 million and has pulled in an inexplicably high $71.7 million. Heaven is for Real continued its solid legs, dropping 41% and pulling in $4.4 million. The Christian drama has amassed a strong $82.3 million to date.
In seventh place and down 24%, Rio 2 grossed $3.8 million. The animated flick has just over $118 million. Captain America: The Winter Soldier fell 35% to $3.8 million. With $250.7 million in the bank, it’s just a few million away from passing The Lego Movie to become the highest grossing movie of the year, though its reign could be short-lived, as either Godzilla or Days of Future Past could surpass it.
The top ten is rounded out by two films I really couldn’t care less about. Legend’s of Oz: Dorothy’s Return fell 48% to $2 million for a sum of $6.6 million. Mom’s Night Out dropped 56% to $1.9 million for a total of $7.3 million. All in all, thanks to Godzilla, this was an interest weekend, but things should get very interesting over Memorial Day weekend, as we could be in store for one of the biggest weekends of all time. Early reviews for Days of Future Past are pretty stellar, so I’m getting pumped. It should be an awesome weekend. Until we meet again.