Tags: Tull | Godzilla | Box | Office

Tull's 'Godzilla' Towers Over Weekend Box Office

Sunday, 18 May 2014 11:51 AM

“Godzilla,” a new take on the 1950s Japanese monster classic, opened at No. 1 in domestic theaters this weekend, collecting $93.2 million for Thomas Tull’s Legendary Entertainment LLC and partner Warner Bros.

The movie, which features “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, surpassed the $76 million estimate of BoxOffice.com. Box Office Guru, another researcher, forecast $68 million. “Godzilla” ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada lapped the competition, with returning movie “Neighbors” garnering $26 million to place second for Universal Pictures, according to an e-mailed statement Sunday from Rentrak Corp.

“Godzilla” marks Legendary’s second original big-budget production, following the release last summer of “Pacific Rim.” While that movie, which also featured lizard-like invaders from the sea, performed better overseas, “Godzilla” is shaping up as a hit in the U.S. as well, increasing the chances Legendary will commission a sequel.

“If this comes out and works well, we’ll figure it out,” Tull told reporters at a May 1 screening of the film at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

“Godzilla” marks another step toward realizing Tull’s ambitions to create an independent film and television production house. The film cost about $160 million to make, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.

Legendary produced the movie and paid for about 75 percent of the budget, while distributor Warner Bros. provided the remainder. It is projected by BoxOffice.com to generate $240 million in its U.S. and Canadian theater run, revenue that is split with exhibitors.

Postwar Angst

“Pacific Rim,” by comparison, was made for about $190 million and generated $101.8 million domestically, according to Box Office Mojo. The film scored in overseas markets — the take in China alone surpassed the U.S. — and it ended up with $411 million in worldwide ticket sales.

“Godzilla” is the latest in a long line of TV shows and films that have tried and failed to recapture the allure of the 1954 Japanese film, originally titled “Gojira,” that captured the postwar angst of nuclear Armageddon in its portrayal of a gigantic radioactive monster rampaging through Japan.

The 1998 Sony movie of the same name, starring Matthew Broderick, took in $136 million domestically and $379 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

“It’s the ultimate monster movie,” director Gareth Edwards told reporters at the May 1 event. Edwards’ previous effort was the low-budget 2010 sci-fi movie “Monsters.”

Unlike many big action movies, ”Godzilla” registered well with critics. It garnered a 72 percent positive rating at Rottentomatoes.com, a review aggregator.

“The filmmaker makes good on his ability to conjure enormous scope and scale via clever staging and visual effects,” said Peter DeBruge, international film critic at Variety.

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"Godzilla," a new take on the 1950s Japanese monster classic, opened at No. 1 in domestic theaters this weekend, collecting $93.2 million for Thomas Tull's Legendary Entertainment LLC and partner Warner Bros.
Tull, Godzilla, Box, Office
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2014-51-18
Sunday, 18 May 2014 11:51 AM
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