Godzilla had an estimated $93.2-million opening weekend, domestically. That’s more than Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6 million) and just under Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million). That puts Godzilla is serious blockbuster territory.
Godzilla has long been in an odd situation, in that his name recognition is through the roof. Yet his movies haven’t performed well, at least within the U.S. Everyone knows Godzilla, but no one’s too excited about his movies. At least, until now.
The last American Godzilla film was 1998′s Godzilla, directed by Roland Emmerich, which had a $44-million opening weekend and poor reviews. It featured tiny Godzilla babies, in an apparent attempt to exploit the success of Jurassic Park. But audiences were less than thrilled.
So the success of this new Godzilla is all the more surprising. Part of the credit can be placed on the marketing of the film. The most common domestic trailer emphasized Bryan Cranston and dialogue that sounded like a disaster movie, rather than a monster movie.
With Godzilla’s success, there’s little doubt that we’ll see a sequel, which could take the opportunity to correct any criticisms of this film. Essentially, Godzilla‘s become a major cinematic player.
To put Godzilla‘s numbers into perspective, the much-celebrated 2009 Star Trek had a $75.2-million opening weekend, and its 2013 sequel had a $70.2-million opening. Godzilla’s bigger than Star Trek.
Godzilla‘s also pulled in about $103 million outside of the U.S.