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Weekend Box Office: Godzilla is Back with Vengeance

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By Chris Kavan - 05/18/14 at 10:24 PM CT

There was no doubt as to what film was going to rule the box office - the only question was whether the King of Monsters would have the biggest opening of the year. After a few weeks of falling behind 2013, a daring remake helped return 2014 to its winning ways - coming in over $20 million ahead of last year. Considering what's coming next weekend - I would say the next few weeks should be very good for the box office.


Gareth Edwards may not be that well-known of a director, but considering the outcome of Godzilla, I think he's going to be now. At $93.2 million, Godzilla nearly took the crown for the biggest opening of the year, but fell just behind Captain America: Winter Solider ($95 million). It still has a slight chance once all returns are counted - but even if it falls short, there is no doubt this is a monster hit. It also had the best IMAX numbers of any movie of the year ($14.1 million) and also had a decent 3D showing - with 51% of its grosses coming from those screens. It blew away the opening of Pacific Rim ($37.28 million) and also topped the opening of World War Z ($66.4 million), Star Trek Into Darkness ($83.7 million) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($90.2 million). It also topped Jurassic Park: The Lost World ($72.1 million) to become the biggest "creature feature" film of all time. Critics gave it a good score and audiences responded with a decent (though not outstanding) "B+" Cinemascore. It drew 58% males and 60% over 25 in the demographics. Chances are it will take a mighty hit with X-Men: Days of Future Past coming next weekend - but it will have no problem topping its $160 million budget and should wind up with roughly $230 million before it exits theaters. It should also be noted it had the best international debut of the year, with a $103 million total.


After surprising last week by topping The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Neighbors continued its strong run by dropping a respectable 47%. Taking in $26 million, the raunchy comedy raised its total to $91.5 million. It should cross the $100 million mark within the next few days and looks to be on track for a $150 million plus total. Not bad at all for a film that cost just $18 million (plus marketing).


Facing direct competition from a monster blockbuster, the web-slinging sequel took a 53% hit, taking in $16.3 million. The film is flirting with the $175 million mark, currently standing at $172.1 million. With even more competition on the horizon, it is not looking like the film will manage to cross the $200 million mark, though it won't get much further. Still, the international market is booming - the $461 million it has taken in tops Winter Soldier's $452.8 million for the best showing out of any film this year (though it falls short of its total gross). It is assured to get to $500 million - we'll see how much higher it can get.


The week's only other new wide-release film, Disney's Million Dollar Arm, was far short of a fastball. The Jon Hamm-led film, about a baseball scout recruiting young cricket players from India, managed a meek $10.5 million opening. Compared to other baseball film, it was less than half the $19.5 million of Moneyball and below the disappointing $12.2 million showing of Trouble with the Curve. It did manage to top Draft Day ($9.8 million) so it won't be the lowest-grossing sports film of the year - though that's a sad consolation prize. The audience was 53% male and 63% over 25 - and they awarded the film an "A-" Cinemascore. Though it may provide some good counter-programming in the next few weeks, the best the film can hope for is about a $30 million total.


The year's other surprise hit comedy dipped just 34.4% and took in $6.3 million, giving the film a new $71.6 million total. It will have no problem crossing the $75 million mark by the end of next week. It will double its $40 million budget before closing out, though it looks like it will ultimately fall short of the coveted $100 million mark.

Outside the top five: Captain America: The Winter Soldier inched across the $250 million mark, taking in $3.75 million (8th place) for a new total of $250.6 million. It should be able to top The Lego Movie ($253.8 million) to become the highest-grossing film of 2014 - though it may quickly lose that crown to X-Men: Days of Future Past if it lives up to its potential.

Even though technically is crossed the milestone last weekend - I'll report this week that the biblical epic Noah officially hit $100 million and now stands at $100.2 million. With a record number of films hitting that mark in 2013 - this may one of the films to help 2014 equal or pass that mark.

Next weekend all eyes should be on X-Men: Days of Future Past (currently my personal most anticipated movie of the summer) - the only other film that will dare challenge the sure-fire blockbuster is the re-pairing of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in Blended (which, I am not afraid to say, should bomb hard).


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