‘Godzilla’ Will Stomp All Over Box Office Competition This Weekend

godzilla, bryan cranston

Godzilla looks poised to stomp all over competitors at the box office this weekend after a phenomenal opening night at 3,400 theaters around the country on Thursday, as well as solid reviews from critics. According to figures from Box Office Mojo, Godzilla made $9.3 million on Thursday night, making it one of the biggest late-night openings for any non-sequel. It outperformed The Amazing Spider-Man 2′s $8.7 million late Thursday opening and came just under Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which made $10.2 million on its late-night opening.

Last weekend, the Seth Rogen-Zac Efron comedy Neighbors partied past the not-so-well-received The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to number one at the box office, raking in $49 million — a respectable sum for an R-rated film. Meanwhile, the Spider-Man sequel dropped 61 percent in its second week in theaters to make just $35 million. It seems the appeal of stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone weren’t enough to save a movie in the reboot of a franchise that many feel was unnecessary and too soon after the Spider-Man trilogy directed by Samm Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire.

Godzilla has all the makings of a huge summer blockbuster. Though it’s not technically a sequel, it is a story that moviegoers are already familiar with, which increases its chances of success at the box office. It promises lots of drama, action, and big-budget special effects, and boasts an all-star cast including Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston and the new, coolest Olsen sister, Elizabeth. Mary Kate and Ashley’s younger sister is an indie darling, and Godzilla is her first big blockbuster. Reviews have been positive, with the film currently boasting a 74 percent fresh rating among critics on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

“It’s a bracing tonic for the bored palate of the mainstream moviegoer, and one of the most intriguing big-budget breakthrough films since Steven Spielberg made Jaws,” said Salon critic Andrew O’Hehir. “This is a movie of tremendous visual daring, magnificent special effects work and surprising moral gravity.”

Godzilla doesn’t have much competition as far as box office goes this weekend, either. The based-on-a-true-story inspirational sports movie from Disney Million Dollar Arm has fallen flat with critics, who say it just isn’t original enough. Million Dollar Arm has just a 54 percent fresh rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s the only other film getting a wide release this weekend, and it’s unlikely to be much of an obstacle in Godzilla’s path.

The drama The Immigrant is beating out Godzilla in terms of critical acclaim, but it’s a film more aimed at awards season than being a box office smash, plus it’s only coming out in three theaters this weekend. French actress Marion Cotillard plays a Polish immigrant who arrives at Ellis Island only to be swept into prostitution by a pimp played by Joaquin Phoenix when she realizes surviving in Manhattan is going to be tougher than she thought. The movie is already getting rave reviews for the actors’ performances.

Really, Godzilla doesn’t have much to worry about until next Friday when X-Men: Days of Future Past will probably bump it out of the top spot at the box office. X-Men has the advantages of being a comic book-based superhero movie and a big cast with more stars than Godzilla.

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