It was inevitable really: everybody loves a good monster.
Silence the doubters! Godzilla has smashed its way to the top of the box office, having earned a monstrous $93.2m on its first weekend. Gareth Edwards' gloomy new take on the popular Japanese tale of a radioactive monster put fellow opener Million Dollar Arm in the dark, leaving the Jon Hamm Disney sports drama a token $10.5 million.
'Godzilla' Stormed Its Way To Box Office No.1 This Weekend With A $93 Million Opening.
Meanwhile, the Zac Efron-starring comedy Neighbors was pushed down to second in its second week with nearly $26 million in takings - a figure far shy of Godzilla's monster haul - whilst the superhero action sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, clung on to the top three with a confident third week figure of $16.8 million.
Godzilla, which stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a father-son duo, easily surpassed the expectations laid out by key box office predictors, with some even being as much as $25 million off target. Part of the reason that the movie was not expected to perform as well as it did could have been the lukewarm reception early reviewers filed.
"It was a monster opening for 'Godzilla' with the numbers coming in well over expectations," said Paul Sweeney, a Bloomberg Industries analyst, via Business Week. "Hollywood has learned that the success of these tentpole films have to play well at home and globally, and 'Godzilla' is the type of film that is embraced around the world."
The movie is now on target to make a projected $240 million, according to BoxOffice.com, meaning that a sequel could be on the cards for the Legendary-produced blockbuster. Even at this stage, Godzilla is on a more confident trajectory than Legendary's 2013 smash Pacific Rim, which similarly featured lizard-like monsters coming out of the sea.
Zac Efron's 'Neighbors' Was Stomped Down To Second Place In Its Second Week To Make Way For The Monster.
Pacific Rim scored $101.8 million domestically but was given a boost overseas markets such as China, meaning it ended up with $411 million in worldwide ticket sales. Interestingly, at $160m, Godzilla was a cheaper movie to make than the $190m Pacific Rim; a feature that is sure to factor highly in considerations for a second movie.
"If this comes out and works well, we'll figure it out," Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull told reporters at an early screening of the film.