'Godzilla' Stomps Into Theaters With Record Estimated $93 Million
Leaving a giant-sized footprint at the global box office this weekend, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ “Godzilla” estimated $93.2 million domestically through Sunday, marking the largest-ever May opening for Warner.
The Warner-Legendary Japanese remake also scored a whopping estimated $103 million from 64 international territories. The U.K. led the charge with $10.4 million, followed by Russia ($9.1 million) and Mexico ($8.9 million).
Historically, the run-up to Memorial Day weekend has been more modest given that it falls between the first weekend in May — a huge moviegoing frame — and the long holiday fray, during which a good number of schools have just commenced for the summer break.
“Anytime I beat tracking by $20 million, I’m happy,” said Warner domestic distribution prexy Dan Fellman. “That’s like a whole other movie.”
“Godzilla” benefited from massive fanboy support in the Imax and premium large-formats. The former company alone contributed 15% of the gross at $14.1 million from just 352 screens, averaging $40,057 per-screen and marking the exhib’s largest Stateside opening this year.
“When you look at what Imax did, it was clear that if you wanted to see a big monster movie, you saw it on a big screen in Imax,” Fellman added.
Other premium large-format screens contributed $8.4 million (or 9%) of the film’s opening gross, of which Cinemark (including its XD brand) led the charge with $2.2 million.
Not only does “Godzilla’s” overperformance skew the Memorial Day lead-in slump, it also blows away the “Godzilla” B.O. curse set nearly 16 years ago with Sony’s same-titled monster remake. Warner and Legendary’s version, meanwhile, which cost $160 million to produce, entered its theatrical blowout with positive critical reviews and strong audience interest. Pic scored a solid (though not glowing) ‘B+’ CinemaScore.
“Godzilla” led the domestic B.O. to a 17% increase over the same frame last year, when Paramount’s “Star Trek Into Darkness” scored a boffo $70 million opening.