‘Godzilla’ Demolishes Box Office Competition With $93 Million Weekend

Godzilla, the new remake of the 1954 Japanese classic post-nuclear monster movie, proved its might at the box office both in the United States and around the world this weekend, pulling in a massive combined take of $196,205,000 between the domestic and international markets.

The $93 million earned by Godzilla at the domestic turnstiles gives the giant reptile flick, which also features Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, the second-largest opening weekend of 2014, sandwiched between two Marvel Comics properties. Marvel Studios’ own Captain America: The Winter Soldier remained narrowly in front of Godzilla with its $95 million opening weekend, while Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 was barely edged out by the marauding monster movie, at $91 million.

While Godzilla was expected to enjoy a monster opening weekend, the movie exceeded most predictions, which generally fell into the $68 million to $76 million range.

At the same time, Godzilla opened in 64 overseas markets, raking in approximately $103 million total. About $22 million of that take came from higher-priced showings on giant-sized IMAX screens, many of them showing Godzilla in 3D as well as IMAX.

For Warner Bros, Godzilla marked the studio’s biggest-ever opening weekend for a film released in May, outpacing the 2003 release, The Matrix Reloaded, which took in $91.4 million. Of course, that earlier Matrix film did not have the benefit of higher-priced 3D screenings, and converting for inflation, The Matrix Reloaded opening weekend gross would be $117.8 million in 2014 dollars.

On Friday, Godzilla scored the most lucrative single opening day of any movie yet released in 2014, taking in $38.5 million on that day alone. That was better than the Captain America sequel, which opened to $36.9 million. But Godzilla dropped by 17 percent from Friday to Saturday.

Placing a distant second domestically for the weekend, the Universal Pictures Seth Rogen-topped comedy Neighbors earned just under $26 million, bringing its total gross for the two weeks of its release to $91.5 million — highly impressive given the film’s relatively modest $18 million budget.

Godzilla reportedly was made on a budget of $160 million.