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'Godzilla' a monster-sized hit

Godzilla world premiere
Godzilla world premiere
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Godzilla” turned out to be the blockbuster film analysts have been expecting, making an estimated $93.2 million in North America alone this weekend. The New York Times blog predicted that the film, although its lizard was criticized for being too fat and huge had the big impact, if not the subtle special effects, that made for big ticket sales on the eve of the Memorial Day weekend.

“A monster-sized box office total for “Godzilla” was not terribly surprising given general audience awareness for the character; Warner and Legendary also started marketing this movie nearly two years ago. But anytime Hollywood finds a new movie series – there will most definitely be sequels – it is a big deal,” added The New York Times today. For more on this report visit

Forbes added today that”Godzilla” scored a whopping $93.2 million on its opening weekend, far outpacing tracking guestimates that presumed around $70 million this weekend. The breakdown, added Forbes, includes $9.3 million in Thursday showings (9.9% of its weekend take) and a $38.5 million opening day. Still, as a box office pundit, there are few things more enjoyable than a happy box office surprise, when a film vastly over-performs its tracking and expectations. Such is the case with “Godzilla,” stressed Forbes. “The Gareth Edwards monster revamp has the second-biggest opening weekend of the year, behind the $95 million opening weekend of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” “Godzilla,” added Forbes “ is ahead of the $91m debut for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”and currently the 6th-biggest debut weekend for a non-sequel. It is beyond cliche to refer to a “Godzilla” film as a “box office monster”, but if the shoe fits, added Forbes.

Added Forbes “Godzilla” ‘didn’t cost $250 million to produce. At $160 million, the film is set to earn back its budget domestically by the end of next weekend and possibly top it worldwide by today depending on the overseas numbers (I’ll update accordingly). To paraphrase the tagline from the last “Godzilla” film, “budget does matter.” This is Legendary Picture’s last production with Warner Bros. (Legendary put up about 75% of the budget), and they will clearly be missed. The earned $14.1m, or a whopping 15.1%, in IMAX alone (which is how it should be seen anyway). It earned 9% from 347 PLF theaters. It in total earned 51% of its grosses via 3D ticket sales. It played 58% male and 60% over-25 years old,” added the report.

According to Forbes: “The teasers and trailers promised a grand-scale and dead-serious monster film, with an emphasis on human characters (Bryan Cranston’s crazed scientist and Ken Watanabe’s tormented scientist specifically) and just enough creature footage and destructo-carnage to wet appetites without giving away the store.”

Added the Forbes reviewer: “My issues with character work aside, there are plenty of moments that will make audiences gasp and 85% of those moments were not in the marketing campaign. Gareth Edwards delivered the monster-mash goods and Warner Bros.’ marketing did the rest. This was a film that pretty much everyone I knew, film nerds and “regular folk”, wanted to see or were at least curious about. I can’t exactly pretend that a big-budget remake of “Godzilla” scoring huge is “good for the industry” in any serious fashion, but again I’m always happy to see a well-marketed movie over-perform the pre-release expectations. It keeps this game fun and I’d much rather write about surprise hits than surprise flops.” For more on this report visit

The film's stars make a big impact on monster-sized interest

The film’s big stars did not hurt either. Approaching 60 years since the Japanese version of the epic “Godzilla” hit the big screen this monster smash stars Bryan Cranston, Gareth Edwards, Juliette Binoche, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, to name a few big names. Added The Los Angeles Times: “Godzilla” may be turning 60 this year but the monster 2014 remake aims to bring the franchise back to life in a way that modern audiences can relate to.” For more on this article visit

“It’s not the 'Godzilla' a lot of people expect; we tried to do something different,” director Gareth Edwards said on the film’s red carpet to The LA Times, which was black, not red, for the occasion. “I think hopefully we’ve injected some soul with this remake.”

It was Edwards’ approach to the film that influenced actress Elizabeth Olsen, who plays the main character's wife, Elle, to join the project, added the report. “I didn’t really know why ‘Godzilla’ was created to begin with,” she said to The LA Times. “But the way Gareth approached me and I think all the actors was [by explaining] that the film represents a time in history when Japan couldn’t actually tell a story they were trying to tell about their experiences with the nuclear bomb, so they created a monster.”
“In what she described as an “academic way of looking at the film,” Olsen said "Godzilla" still resonates because “we are still creating monsters in that kind of political way,” adds the report.
“['Godzilla'] is this larger metaphor of humans having to be humbled by a source larger than them,” she said of the main character of Godzilla to The LA Times.

Actor Ken Watanabe, who plays Dr.Ishiro Serizawa, said in the report that it was important to him as a Japanese actor to be part of the film on its anniversary. “Sixty years ago the first 'Godzilla' was born out of fear,” he said, noting the fear still exists in some ways,” added Watanabe.

“However, Bryan Cranston, who plays Joe Brody,said he “didn’t focus on how this ‘Godzilla’ was different then the last or the one before that.” Instead, he said he “judges every project on its own merit,” stressed Cranston to The LA Times.

“The remake allowed Cranston to tackle a different genre from AMC show “Breaking Bad,” in which Cranston played chemistry teacher/meth manufacturer Walter White,” added the report.. “The scope of this ['Godzilla'] story is enormous,” Cranston said to The LA Times. “It was different from ‘Breaking Bad’ and yet had a very strong character-driven narrative: Husband-wife, father-son.”

“I remember I was 7 years old playing with Godzilla toys,” he said to The LA Times. “He was my favorite monster of all time.” This sums up the film’s universal appeal to kids of all ages. Staten Island movie fans you can see “Godzilla,” well just about everywhere. “Godzilla” plays at Atrium Stadium Cinemas, UA Hylan Plaza 5, and UA All Staten Island Stadium 16 Theatre which shows the film’s 3D version as well. Staten Island moviegoers please check your local listings for theatres and showtimes.