NORTH AMERICA: Weekend Actuals: 'Godzilla' Demolishes Expectations with $93.2M Debut

on May 19, 2014

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By Daniel Garris

Warner's Godzilla was off to a huge start this weekend with a first place debut of $93.19 million. The highly anticipated and well received sci-fi action remake outpaced expectations (which had ranged anywhere from $65 million to $80 million) in a very big way this weekend. Godzilla delivered the second largest opening weekend of 2014 to date, as it debuted just below the $95.02 million start of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and just ahead of the $91.61 million start of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The film opened an impressive 18 percent stronger than the $79.20 million debut of fellow sci-fi re-launch Star Trek back in May of 2009. In addition to a very effective marketing campaign and strong critical reviews, Godzilla was also likely aided from the performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 having left a lot left to be desired his month.

Godzilla opened with $38.41 million on Friday (which included an estimated $9.3 million from Thursday evening), fell 16 percent on Saturday to take in $32.16 million and declined 30 percent on Sunday to gross $22.62 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.43 to 1. While that ratio does indicate early front-loading, this weekend's front-loading was understandable given the film's over-performance and it is still very possible the film will stabilize going forward given its strong critical reviews. The film received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (60 percent) and towards male moviegoers (58 percent).

Godzilla grossed an estimated $14.24 million from 352 IMAX locations this weekend. That represented 15.3 percent of the film's overall gross this weekend. 3D grosses represented 51 percent of the film's overall gross.

Universal's Neighbors placed in second with $25.07 million. The break-out comedy starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne was down a significant, but understandable 49 percent from last weekend's stronger than expected start. The rush-out of Efron fans and Rogen fans last weekend and the larger than expected debut of Godzilla both affected Neighbors this weekend. In the bigger picture Neighbors continues to impress in a very big way, especially with both cost and expectations in mind. Neighbors has grossed $90.59 million through ten days of release. That leaves the film just $9.41 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone and places it 37.5 percent ahead of the $65.87 million ten-day start of 2007's Knocked Up. Neighbors will soon face new direct competition from the release of fellow comedies Blended (this coming Friday) and A Million Ways to Die in the West (on May 30).

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 claimed third place this weekend with $16.80 million. Sony's expensive superhero sequel was down a sharp 53 percent from last weekend, as continued underwhelming word of mouth and the stronger than expected launch of Godzilla both took a toll this weekend. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has grossed $172.17 million in 17 days, as it continues to perform on the very low end of pre-release expectations. The film is currently running 2.5 percent ahead of the $167.92 million 17-day take of last year's Thor: The Dark World and 16 perecnt behind the $200.50 million 17-day take of Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is likely to take another significant hit next weekend with Fox's highly anticipated superhero film X-Men: Days of Future Past entering the marketplace on Friday.

Disney's Million Dollar Arm debuted in fourth place with $10.52 million. Despite growing buzz in the weeks leading up to its release, the baseball drama starring Jon Hamm debuted on the very low end of expectations. Potential for Million Dollar Arm appears to have been limited both by opening against Godzilla and from the film's critical reviews being mixed. The opening weekend performance of Million Dollar Arm was quite similar to the recent $9.78 million debut of Draft Day. Going forward, Million Dollar Arm will hope to hold up significantly better than Draft Day has.

Million Dollar Arm opened with $3.47 million on Friday, increased 24 percent on Saturday to gross $4.32 million and fell 37 percent on Sunday to gross $2.73 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.03 to 1. Million Dollar Arm received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for Million Dollar Arm skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (73 percent) and towards male moviegoers (54 percent). Family audience made up 28 percent of the film's overall audience.

Fox's The Other Woman rounded out the weekend's top five with $6.31 million. The comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton was down 34 percent. That represented a strong weekend hold, especially since last weekend's performance was inflated a bit my Mother's Day. The Other Woman continues to outpace expectations with a 24-day take of $71.67 million.

Tags: north-america, The Other Woman, Million Dollar Arm, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Neighbors, Godzilla

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